The Punjab State PowerCorporation Limited (PSPCL) has proposed to add 4,100 MW to its existing generation capacity in the coming years to stay ahead of the ever growing electricity demand in the state. The power demand of the state is increasing by 10% to 12% every year.
The power corporation during the current summer season met the highest ever demand of 13,700 MW recently. According to PSPCL sources, this is the highest demand that can be met in Punjab given the existing infrastructure.
As per the latest proposal, the corporation wants to set up with five supercritical thermal power plants of 800 MW at Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Power Plant at Ropar at an estimated cost of Rs 24,801 crore. The plant at present has four units each of 210 MW capacity.
The project will be completed in two phases. In the first phase, three units each of 800 MW capacity will be commissioned at an estimated cost of Rs 14,372.28 crore. It will require 890 acre for setting up three units. Remaining two units of same capacity will be commissioned in the second phase at a cost of Rs 9,779.21 crore, for which 672 acres of land will be required.
As per the proposal, with the completion of the first three units, the existing four units of 840 MW capacity will be shut down as has been done in case of Bathinda thermal power plant. The supercritical thermal units will generate power at a cost that will be much lower than the existing units in Ropar.
Meanwhile, the proposal to set up a 100 MW solar power plant on the premises of the now shut down Bathinda thermal power plant is also under consideration of the state government. The project is likely to cost Rs 500 crore and is expected to produce 1,700 lakh units annually. It will require about 500 acres of land. Another proposal to operationalize one of the shut down units at Bathinda using farms stubble as fuel to generate power an additional 60 MW of power is also under consideration of the state government which is looking into the financial feasibility of the project.
Current installed capacity in Punjab
At present, the state has three thermal plants being operated by independent power producers (IPPs). The total generation capacity of these plants is 3,920 MW. The government-owned thermal plant capacity is 1,760 MW.
In the private sector, two units of the Rajpura plant are of 700 MW each, three units of Talwandi Sabo are of 660 MW each, and two units of Goindwal Sahib plant are of 270 MW each. In the government sector, the four thermal units at Ropar are of 210 MW each while at Lehra Mohabatt the state has two units that are of 210 MW and two units that are of 250 MW capacity.