Barh's second unit boost for energy in power-starved state

The state's energy problems are set to dip with commercial generation expected to start soon at NTPC's Barh Super Thermal Power Station's second 660MW unit.

By Anand Raj
  • Published 9.03.15
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The state's energy problems are set to dip with commercial generation expected to start soon at NTPC's Barh Super Thermal Power Station's second 660MW unit.

Union power minister Piyush Goyal had declared the plant's first 660MW unit commercially operational last November. Bihar gets 429.5MW from the first unit and would get 429.5MW more from the second one.

Sources said following the unit's commissioning on Wednesday evening, commercial operation could start by end of this month, subject to approval from the Central Electricity Authority, the nodal agency advising the Centre on power-related matters.

NTPC Barh's assistant manager (public relations) Vishwanath Chandan said: "The second unit of 660MW of the Barh plant has achieved its full load capacity... Our plant and parameters were excellent during the full load. On Wednesday evening, the plant achieved 707.8MW, far beyond its capacity."

A source said: "The plant is likely to be made commercially operational any day. The declaration would be made latest by end of month. We will try to make it in the current fiscal but it all depends on the power ministry."

Although the Centre, in March 2012, allocated Bihar 50 per cent of power as "home state share" from Barh Stage II plant, the state's share went up to 65 per cent because Bengal relinquished its portion. Bihar would, however, get 523MW (26.5 per cent) from Stage I (three units of 660MW) of the power station to be completed by 2018-19. Once the second unit starts commercial operation, it would be the third power plant to start in Bihar in less than six months.

Goyal had also declared the 110MW plant at Muzaffarpur thermal power station on November 15 last year.

The commissioning of the second unit would help power-starved Bihar, which is still dependent on central sector allocation to meet its energy requirements, a lot and also help Nitish honour his poll promise made three years ago. During his Independence Day speech in 2012, he had promised substantial improvement in the power sector, failing which he would not seek votes in the Assembly elections (due later this year).

At present, Bihar's peak power supply demand is 3,500MW. Against the scheduled central allocation of 2,850MW, it draws 1,800-1,900MW, which is capable of meeting power demand in good weather conditions.

Over the years

First steps

Then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee lays foundation stone of main plant of Stage I on March 6, 1999
BHEL handed over work for Stage II plant in March 2008

State share

In Stage II, plant has two 660MW units. Bihar allotted 50 per cent from Stage II but to get 65 per cent 

Bengal relinquishes share of 199MW allowing Bihar to get 99.5MW additional power from each unit

Bihar to get 430MW against earlier allocation of 330MW from each unit

Three 660MW units in Stage I to be commissioned by end of 2018-19

Money matters

The plant (Stage I & II) constructed on 3,196 acres in Barh (in Patna district). Stage II project to be completed for Rs 7,341 crore

Power supply 

Bihar’s peak demand: 3,500MW
At present gets 1,800-1,900MW 
Central sector allocation: 2,850MW