Water shortage shuts four RTPS units
Four of the eight units of the Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS) have been shut down owing to a drastic reduction in the availability of water in the Krishna river.
The plant, with an installed capacity of 1,720 MW, was generating 30.66 million units (mu) of energy on Sunday when all eight units (210 x 7 and 250 x 1) were in operation. Now, generation has fallen to below 50 per cent of the installed capacity.
The authorities were forced to shut down four units, one after the other, beginning Sunday evening. The 7th unit was shut down at 5.55 p.m. on Sunday, the 8th unit at 9.18 p.m., the 3rd unit at 1.22 a.m. on Monday and the 6th unit at 3.17 a.m.
The four units in operation are producing about 20 mu of energy at a plant load factor (PLF) of 80 per cent. The plant is now generating 840 MW. The shortage of 880 MW from the RTPS will hit normal power supply in the State.
There is likely to be a further reduction in power generation at the plant if there is no improvement in the inflow in the river.
According to P. Bhasker, Executive Director (Thermal), RTPS, the plant needs about two lakh cubic metres of water every day to operate the eight units, for which it has to pump 8,000 cubic metres of water per hour from the river through the intake well near the plant. On Sunday, the availability was reduced to 2,000 cubic metres per hour.
He said that the situation was precarious and more units may have to be shut down in the coming days if water was not released immediately from either the Alamatti dam or the Narayanpur dam. He said that the available water in the Krishna was just enough to run four units for about four days.
Meanwhile, M.R. Kamble, Managing Director of Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd., has written to the Secretary, Water Resource Department, seeking the immediate release of 1 tmcft of water from the Narayanapura dam to ensure normal functioning of the thermal plant.
Mr. Bhaskar said engineers at the Narayanpur dam site had refused to release water into the river citing poor storage. According to them, the available water in the dam has to be conserved to meet the drinking water requirement of people in cities, towns and villages along the river.