Kerala

Galwan conflict impacts KSEB’s Pallivasal plans

More delays appear to be in store for the Pallivasal Extension Scheme, designed to add 60 MW to the State’s power generation capability, with the soured India-China relations following the Galwan Valley clash hampering the installation of power plant machinery.

The Kerala State Electricity Board’s (KSEB) plea for procuring the services of its Chinese supplier for installing the machinery is yet to be cleared by the Department of Promotion of Industries and Internal Trade, Government of India, KSEB officials said.

80% from China

Chinese firm Dongfang Electric Corporation (DEC) is the original equipment manufacturer and a consortium partner for the scheme in Idukki district. Over 80% of the power generation machinery, generators and turbines included, have been procured from China.

The machinery had arrived in Kerala more than six years ago, but the project was plagued by geological issues and contract-related problems then. After the LDF government came to power in 2016, the KSEB had awarded fresh contracts, but the Galwan Valley incident in June 2020, had thrown the KSEB’s plans for installing the equipment haywire.

New deadline

The State-run power utility had announced a revised deadline for completing this much-delayed project by December 2021 when the new hurdle cropped up. “The Centre has strictly regulated the procurement of equipment and services from China after the Galwan incident. But given the importance of this power project, the Kerala government has written to the Centre to clear the Chinese firm and permit its engineers to either travel to Kerala for installing the machinery or do it online. If we get the clearance now, we can still complete the work by December,” KSEB chairman and managing director N.S. Pillai said.

Many delays

Extensive delays have plagued the Pallivasal Extension Scheme, originally scheduled for commissioning in March 2011. Problems related to land acquisition, geology, technical matters and contracts have hounded the project which is also the biggest ongoing hydel project of the KSEB.

The first stage of the Pallivasal hydroelectric project was completed in 1940 and by 1952 it became full-fledged with a total installed capacity of 37.5 MW. Subsequently, the KSEB designed the 60 MW Pallivasal Extension Scheme (153.9 million units) to fully utilise the available water. The new power station will have two 30 MW units.


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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 8:20:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/galwan-conflict-impacts-ksebs-pallivasal-plans/article34868543.ece

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