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Deadline rejig to hit power vow

Chief minister Nitish Kumar’s dream of contesting the 2015 Assembly polls on the energy plank has been dealt a mild blow, as BHEL has faltered on its thermal power unit revamp project deadline.

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has rescheduled its renovation and modernisation of two 110MW thermal plants at Barauni and Kanti each. Deadlines for the work at Barauni — November 2011 and October 2012 — have been rescheduled to July and December 2013, respectively. Renovation at Kanti would be complete by February and June 2013, respectively, in place of April and August 2012.

These units would generate power by December 2013.

Senior board officials, however, were sceptical about the completion of work on scheduled time. “BHEL has vowed to complete the work on time. But given the tardy progress of the work, it would be quite difficult to meet the deadline,” a senior official of Bihar State Power (Holding) Company said.

On why work was being delayed, he said BHEL was not interested in carrying out revamp for small plants. When The Telegraph asked the official as to why the contract was awarded to BHEL, he said the contract had been awarded by the stakeholders, including the Planning Commission, the state government and NTPC (project consultant).

Doubts had been raised over timely completion of the work during a meeting headed by the chief secretary in October. Sources said the Planning Commission had fixed a target for completion of the work by the end of the 11th Five-Year Plan (March 2012). Sources, however, added that the Central Electricity Authority team, which reviewed the progress, said in its report that the work might not be completed even by end of March 2013. Once these plants start functioning, the state would have around 1,940MW of power (1,000+440). The state gets around 1000MW in place of 1,833MW from the central sector. It also purchases 500MW from the open market.