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Updated: April 10, 2010 01:35 IST

Karnataka likely to face power shortage

Staff Correspondent
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BLACOUT: Children play chess in Bangalore on Wednesday using LED rechargable bulb . Photo: G.R.N. Somasekar
THE HINDU BLACOUT: Children play chess in Bangalore on Wednesday using LED rechargable bulb . Photo: G.R.N. Somasekar

Snags shut down two units of RTPS

Karnataka is likely to face severe shortage in power supply in the coming days owing to continued fluctuation in power generation at the Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS). The shortage in coal supply added with technical faults found in feeding coal to the thermal plant are said to be the reasons for shutting down of one or the other units frequently.

The RTPS, with an installed capacity of 1,470 MW (7x210 MW), has a generation capacity of 35 million units (mu) of power a day. But the normal power generation has come down drastically following failure of two of its units on Wednesday. The other five units are also functioning with low capacity by maintaining a load between 79 MW and 206 MW as against their installed capacity of 210 MW each.

On Wednesday, the generation capacity of the thermal power station came down to a record low with utilisation of only 750 MW as against the total installed capacity of 1,470 MW. A variation of utilising the available load has reduced the power generation to less than 20 mu (as on Wednesday) as against 24.89 mu on Tuesday.

According to official sources, the fourth unit was shut down at about 7.30 a.m. and the second unit was shut down at about 8 a.m. on Wednesday owing to technical faults found while feeding coal to the units. Earlier on Monday, the fourth unit was shut down when the coal supply to the unit was suspended owing to snapping of the conveyor belt following a fire accident. The unit was brought back to operational stage within a day. But since then the unit has been functioning with oil firing.

Generation

Presently, five units are in operation with a gross generation of less than 20 mu a day supplying a net of about 18 mu of power to the State grid.

Shortage in coal supply is said to be one of the reason for frequent shutdown of units at the RTPS. It is said that the Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL), which is said to be in a financial mess, has not been able to clear the long-pending dues to various coal supplying companies. This has affected the normal coal supply to the thermal plant.

But the authorities concerned at the RTPS were tight-lipped when this correspondent tried to get clarification on the reasons for which the units were being shut down. According to the official sources, the RTPS, with a stock of about two lakh tonnes of coal, has not faced shortage in coal supply. But the arrival of coal was held up for two days since Monday owing to the derailment of some wagons in the coal handling yard.

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