Unit 1 of Thermal Power Station-1 of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation completed 50 years of fruitful operations on May 30 and is going strong, well beyond its lifespan.

To commemorate the occasion, NLC Chairman-cum-Managing Director A.R. Ansari unveiled a plaque in TPS-1 turbine hall on Wednesday.

NLC directors B. Surender Mohan, R. Kandasamy, J. Mahil Selvan and, Sarat Kumar Acharya, Chief Vigilance Officer Deepak Sreevastava, Chief General Manager (TPS I and Expansion) B. Krishnamoorthy and General Manager (TPS) S. Ramachandran were present.

The 50-MW-capacity Unit 1 has so far put in a total number of 3,19,907 service hours and generated 14,302 million units of electricity.

A statement from the NLC said that even after completion of five decades of operation, the unit was still working to the rated capacity of 50 MW. In the just concluded financial year of 2011-2012, it recorded the Plant Load Factor of 79.62 per cent.

Unit 1 was commissioned on May 23, 1962, and subsequently dedicated to the nation by the then President S. Radhakrishnan in the presence of the first NLC CMD T.M.S. Mani.

After having completed its lifespan of 30 years, the Life Extension Programme, first of its kind in the country, was carried out between April 1, 1992 and July 23, 1994 and the unit re-commissioned.

For 347 days, from April 25, 2002 to April 6, 2003 the unit functioned non-stop. It was one of the nine units of TPS-1.

The statement recalled that the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurated the NLC project on May 20, 1957. As an epitome of Indo-Soviet collaboration, the 600-MW TPS-1, comprising six units of 50 MW (6 x 50 MW) each and three units of 100 MW (3 x 100 MW) each, was commissioned between 1962 and 1970 in three stages.

The project cost, including establishment of the Neyveli township, worked out to Rs.77.83 crore. The project was executed on a turn-key basis by the Technopromexport of the erstwhile Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and erected by NLC officials under the guidance of the Soviet experts.

The first unit was commissioned on May 23, 1962 and the last unit on December 20, 1970. The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (formerly Tamil Nadu Electricity Board) is the sole beneficiary of the entire power generated from TPS-1.

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