Key hydro-power projects hit, grid not disturbed
The Indian Express
Anil Sasi : New Delhi, Wed Jun 26 2013
The presence of excessive silt, boulders and floating debris in the
upper reaches of rivers in flood-hit Uttarakhand has forced at least six
key hydro-power projects in the state to curtail or completely shut down
electricity generation to prevent equipment damage.
The NHPC's 280-MW Dhauliganga station and Jaiprakash Power Ventures'
400-MW Vishnuprayag plant are among the worst affected.
According to latest Central Electricity Authority data, updated until
June 20, a total of 14 units of four hydro-power stations in the hill
state were completely shut due to flood-related issues. Of these, two
units of UJVNL's 144-MW Chilla power station were shut due to "high silt
and floods in intake" while units of the state's 41-MW Khatima power
plant were down due to flooding of the power house.
NHPC's Tanakpur station was also reported to be down due to "high silt
and floods in intake".
Besides, projects under construction on the Mandakini river in
Rudraprayag district, including L&T Hydro's 99-MW Singholi Bhatwari
project, have reportedly suffered some structural damage. Two mini hydel
projects of state-run Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (UJVNL) — the
6-MW Kaliganga-I and 4-MW Kaliganga-II — have been hit due to mudslides
while five other projects run by the state, including the 90-MW Maneri
Bhali-I and the 304-MW Maneri Bhali-II, are among those shut down as a
Uttarakhand's total installed capacity is 2,560 MW, comprising entirely
of hydroelectric stations and includes mini and micro hydel plants.
Power ministry officials said given the size of the integrated NEW
(north-east-west-northeastern) grid, the sudden outages of hydro units
in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have not affected overall grid
Although the extent of damage at Dhauliganga and Vishnuprayag due to
vital systems being submerged is still being ascertained, both stations
are covered by industrial risk insurance policies.
NHPC officials said that due to the unprecedented floods, water had
inundated its Dhauliganga station and submerged all systems in the early
hours of June 17 and the severity of the damage is being assessed.
Jaiprakash Power Ventures has said the heavy rains in Chamoli district,
where its Vishnuprayag plant is located, excessive silt, boulders and
other material in the Alaknanda river have affected river protection
work and led to a shutdown of the barrage operations and power
generation from June 16.
"Assessment of damages will be made after access to the site becomes
possible...The unprecedented floods has led to 'force majeure' event for
400-MW Vishnuprayag project,'' the company said.
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