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Power trickle boost to energy

- Muzaffarpur unit supplies 94MW, state’s first generation in 11 years

Patna, Nov. 4: After a gap of 11 years, Bihar has started getting power from its own source thanks to the generating unit of Muzaffarpur Thermal Power Station (MTPS).

MTPS started commercial production from November 1, sources in the power station said. Bihar had nil thermal power generation till October 31 and is heavily dependent on central sector allocation to meet its energy demand.

The state, these sources said, created a record by supplying 2,295MW of power on Sunday, which included 94MW from the MTPS plant.

“Commercial production started on November 1. We have been running the plant on full load since then. The entire power generated would be supplied to the state for its consumption. We have asked the state government to consider November 1 as the date for commercial operation of the plant,” a senior official at Kanti Bijli Utpadan Nigam Ltd (KBUNL) told The Telegraph.

KBUNL, a joint venture firm between NTPC and Bihar State Power (Holding) Company Ltd, runs the MTPS plant.

NTPC and the power company have 64.57 per cent and 35.43 per cent shares respectively in the JV firm, but the entire energy generated at the plant would be supplied to Bihar.

A senior official of the power company, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the development. “Yes, generation has started at MTPS but we still consider this as a trial run. It would be announced as commercial operation once the plant stabilises generation. In just three to four days of trial, it has tripped three to four times,” he told The Telegraph.

The official, however, said the chief minister is expected to inaugurate the plant in mid-November, either on November 15 or 16.

MTPS started generation after Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) completed its renovation and modernisation work.

The power plant came up in 1985, but stopped generation in 2002-03.

BHEL is carrying out renovation and modernisation work of two thermal power plants — Barauni (2x110MW) and Kanti (2x110MW). It has completed work at the first unit of MTPS. The work on the 110MW unit of MTPS is expected to be over by February next year.

The government has asked BHEL to expedite work given that chief minister Nitish Kumar has vowed not to seek votes in the next Assembly elections if there wasn’t any substantial improvement on the power front.

The state would also start getting 330MW of power from the first unit of the 660MW Barh plant of NTPC by the end of February 2014. The second unit of 660MW would be commissioned by the end of September 2014.

Power company chairman-cum-managing director Sandeep Poundrik said last Friday that the agency has been supplying around 2,200MW for the past one month and it aims to supply 3,500MW in the next one year. The company used to supply 1,200MW till last year, he pointed out.