Pumping of water from Achencoil river resumes

The NTPC plant at Kayamkulam has resumed pumping of water from the Achencoil river since Thursday morning, averting a closure of the plant owing to shortage of quality water.

Earlier, the NTPC authorities had warned of a shutdown of the plant, which bases its power generation on naphtha, after water from the river had turned saline. ‘‘We resumed pumping at 11 a.m. on Thursday as the salinity level was minimum, making it comparatively safer for use. A further reduction in salinity is expected as bund construction across the river at Kavumpadam is expected to be over in a couple of days,’’ an NTPC official said.

As of now, NTPC’s Kayamkulam unit is generating only 150 MW of its total capacity of 350 MW, as one of its plants has been shut down. The official said the NTPC was ready to operate its shutdown plant on three hours’ notice from the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB). The Chief Minister was recently assured of additional power from the Kayamkulam plant by the Centre. However, KSEB sources said no such demand was being made as of now.

‘‘Even if the NTPC shuts down its operations, the KSEB is prepared to face the situation as it has additional power at hand. By Friday, the Irrigation Department has promised to complete the bund construction, thereby ensuring quality water for the operation of the plant,’’ sources said.

However, experts familiar with the construction of bunds said the construction could be delayed by a few days as the work was not progressing as expected. As of now, with a generation of 150 MW, the NTPC unit supplies only 5 per cent of the total daily power consumption of the State.


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