With the power demand peaking at 14,500MW despite cool weather in the state, the discom has a challenge on its hands to maintain power supply. Tangedco officials, however, maintained that there would not be any power cut in the state.
The joint venture units were shut based on a Madras high court order which stopped discharge of fly ash and bottom ash by the units into Vallur pond. The joint venture company has written to Tangedco chairman about shutting the three units with a total capacity of 1,500MW and has not given any time frame for restarting them.
“In view of the order from the high court regarding stoppage of discharge of fly ash and bottom ash into the pond of NTECL-Vallur, we are shutting our running units with immediate effect,” said NTECL chief executive officer Debasis Sarkar on Tuesday in the letter to Tangedco chairman and director (projects).
The three units with a capacity of 500MW each were commissioned between 2010 and 2012. Since then, the units have been shut on many occasions either owing to shortage of coal or technical problems. “The three units can only use local coal. If there is a fuel shortage, these units will not generate power. Power generated by the three units are sold to Kerala and Puducherry also,” said a Tangedco official.
“There will be no power cuts on account of supply shortage. Tangedco will purchase power from the open market based on the demand,” said the official.
Fly ash problem is there in all thermal units owned by Tangedco. “Dumping of fly ash will not be a problem in future as we have given contract for sale of fly ash from all our thermal plants,” said the official. Sale of fly ash is expected to increase the revenue of the discom because there is high demand for the commodity from cement factories and brick making units, the official said. “We are not hopeful of restarting the three units in the next few days. Since it is not a windy season, there isn’t much wind power either. Also, one unit in Kudankulam is shut for maintenance. We are working out ways to augment power generation,” said the official.