KERC recommends shutdown of problematic RTPS units

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Thermal Power Station Raichur

Bangalore: The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has recommended the shutdown of the Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS) units I and II for a period of one or two years to permanently resolve recurring maintenance problems at the facility.

Sources in the Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) said the problem is a result of ageing boilers in the two units, commissioned decades ago, in 1978.

“Severe damage to the boilers have resulted in frequent maintenance problems and disruptions in power generation,” the KPCL officials said.

KPCL Managing Director M R Kamble said that the corporation had been considering shutting down RTPS units I and II for some time now. “Both units are quite old. KERC chairperson M R Sreenivas Murthy recommended that we find a way to permanently resolve the maintenance issue,” Kamble said.

Sources said that the KPCL was planning to upgrade the two units in a phased manner — before the recommendation for constructing new units was made.

Third-party consultant

The KPCL has now commissioned a third-party consultant to study the viability of building new units on the same land, or continue with the original intention to upgrade the existing units.

The KPCL, however, remains concerned over shutting down the units for a long period of time, as it will result in the loss of power generation. The Raichur Thermal Power Station and the Bellary Thermal Power Stations together have a capacity to generate 40,000 million units or 2,720 mega watts for the State every day.

The Commission has also expressed concern about the availability of land to build new units. Officials in the KPCL added that the present location of the RTPS I and II may not “suit” the requirements of constructing the fresh units.

Sources in the KPCL revealed that if the consultant makes the recommendation to set up fresh units, the corporation may approach the KERC for an increase in the power tariff to compensate for the construction costs of the new units.

When contacted, Sreenivas Murthy refused to react on whether he had indeed made the recommendations or not.

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