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Aid plea for Kolaghat rejig

Calcutta, Oct. 4: West Bengal Power Development Corporation Ltd (WBPDCL) is looking to get aid from the World Bank and German development bank KfW to renovate two of its ageing thermal power units at Kolaghat in the East Midnapore district.

Malay De, principal secretary to the department of power and non-conventional energy sources of the Bengal government, said the renovation would require about Rs 1,600-1,700 crore.

“Ideally the life span of a thermal power unit is about 25-30 years. So, we decided to renovate some of the old units so that their efficiency can be improved and in the process pollution can be lowered as well,” he told The Telegraph.

He added that the exercise would expand the lifespan of the power units by another 30 years.

There are six units of 210 megawatt (MW) each at Kolaghat. These units came into operation in two phases — three units of phase 1 came into operation between 1983 and 1990 and the remaining under phase II were commissioned after 1990.

WBPDCL is preparing a detailed project report for funds from the World Bank and KfW.

De said the state government would take necessary steps to ensure that there was no shortage of power during renovation.

WBPDCL sources said it was looking to add fresh capacity at Sagardighi in Murshidabad to make up for the loss of generation at Kolaghat.

According to a senior WBPDCL official, the renovation at Kolaghat would start once a 500 MW unit comes into operation at Sagardighi. The power utility has planned two such 500 MW units at Sagardighi to add to its already existing 600 MW capacity.

The Sagardighi unit could come into operation by 2015, and the renovation of the Kolaghat units would follow. The power utility has planned to complete the renovation by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan.

WBPDCL officials said during Kolaghat’s closure, coal meant for the facility would be used elsewhere as such inter plant transfers were permitted in its agreement with Coal India.

 
 
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