Plant expected to be commissioned in three years at a cost of Rs.3 crore per mega watt

The Kerala State Electricity Board has set in motion the process of setting up a 350-475-MW combined cycle power generation facility at Brahmapuram using natural gas as the feedstock.

In combined cycle power generation, a gas turbine and a steam unit are packed together for better thermal bang which is far efficient that steam unit or gas turbines working alone.

The Board has called for bids from agencies for completing the mandatory environmental impact assessment for obtaining clearance for the project from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, State Environment Impact Assessment Authority and Kerala State Pollution Control Board.

Board sources said the new plant was expected to be commissioned in three years at a cost of roughly Rs.3 crore per mega watt.

Gas pipeline, laid by GAIL India, from the Puthuvype Jetty of Petronet LNG to BPCL’s Kochi refinery passed through the Brahmapuram compound of KSEB and tapping fuel should be easy, sources said.

They said the price of natural gas was likely to ease to around $12 per mmBtu by the time the power generation facility is in place. It may not be viable to produce power from gas supplied by Petronet LNG’s Kochi terminal, which costs $19.50 per mmBtu.

New gas finds and the arrival of shale gas on the scene are expected to bring down natural gas prices in the near future.

KSEB has 100-MW diesel power plant at Brahmapuram, which is likely to remain idle till December because the Board now relies almost entirely on its hydel generation facilities, thanks to the unprecedented rain during June and July.

The price of low sulphur heavy stock fuel being used as fuel at Brahmapuram had gone up and this was one of the reasons why the Board was reluctant to crank up the plant. Electricity from the plant will cost roughly Rs.12 per unit, sources added.

The Board had earlier proposed to set up a 1,000-MW plant at Brahmapuram, where it had about 200 acres of land. However, about 100 acres have been acceded to the SmartCity project.

The Board has roughly 96 acres at present and the plot houses the diesel power generation facility as well as a sub-station. Board sources said the size of the new plant was proportionate to the land available.

More In: Kochi