Lucknow: Threat of closure of the state-run old coal fired thermal power generation plants in Uttar Pradesh looms large following the tough environmental norms for curbing carbon emission enforced by the ministry of environment and forest.
The new norm entails the installation of the `Flue Gas Desulphurisation ' (FGD) and `Selective Catalytic Reducer' (SCR) in each unit of the thermal power plants. The thermal plants are Anpara A, Anpara B, Obra (188 MW), Panki (210 MW), Parichaa (1,140 MW) and Harduaganj (610 MW). Panki thermal power plant in Kanpur city has already been closed down on January 1 this year.
''After the closure of the Panki thermal power next in line of fire is the Anpara A and Anpara B thermal power plants. The cost of installing both anti-pollution equipment, the FGD and SCR is estimated to be Rs 2 crore per MW. The installed capacity of the two plants is 1, 600 MW thus the estimated expenditure will be Rs 3,200 crore,'' said Shailendra Dubey, convener of the Power employees joint action committee said here on Wednesday.
He said the present cost of constructing thermal power plant of 1,600 MW capacities is over Rs 10,000 crore.
He said the first unit of 32 MW of Panki power plant is scheduled to be closed on April 1 and the other unit six months afterwards. It was also decided that the next unit will be closed after the government announce the final decisions to construct new 660 MW units in Panki. He said even as the matter of new 660 MW unit is before the `Energy task force' headed by the chief secretary and final decisions are yet to be taken the government ordered the closure of both the Units of the Panki thermal power plant.
The power employees' leader said that the government intends to close the Anpara plants even as it is getting cheapest power at the rate of Rs 1.42 per unit to Rs 1.50 per unit. He said Anpara A plant is 27 years old and the Anpara B is 22 years old. He said the closure of both the plants of Anpara will set the ball rolling for the closure of the UP Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Limited, the holding company owning all the thermal power plants.
Mr Dubey claimed that under the cover of the environmental norms the government intends to close down all the thermal power plants in public sector thus preparing ground for the entry of the independent power plants (IPP) of private sector.
He said against the installed capacity of 3.38 lakh MW of power general in the country, the peak load was only 1.60 lakh MW and rest of the power generation capacity was lying idle. He said the IPPs with installed capacity of 45,000 were lying closed for the lack of the Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with the power distribution companies (DISCOMs) which are, barring few cities, in public sector across the country.
He said the Union government is most likely to bring Indian Electricity Amendment bill during the budget session of Parliament. Union minister of state of power R K Singh has already said there will be stringent provisions in the bill and also stringent punishment for the violation of PPA by the DISCOMs.
The Central and the state government under `Power for All' has already announced to ensure 24 hr power supply to all households by March 2019 round the year. The minister had also said the new law will impose penalties on DISCOMs in case of failure to provide uninterrupted power after March 2019, except due to technical reasons. As soon as the Indian Electricity (amendment) bill is passed by Parliament, then each of the DISCOM will have to sign PPA with the IPP to the extent of power requirement for the entire year. In case of Lucknow, UP Madhyanachal Power Corporation will have to sign the PPA for at least 1,800 MW which is the daily requirement of Lucknow. UNI