In a recent move the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) board has approved capacity expansion of the captive power plant (CPP) of Durgapur Steel Plant (DSP). For this proposed capacity augmentation in power generation the board has also approved a budgetary allocation of INR 350 crore.
The CPP of DSP came into operation in the late 1950’s with 120 MW (2 units of 60 MW each) installed capacity to cater to the needs of the factory and the power load of its township. Initially DSP used to produce 1 Million Ton of crude steel but after several periodic expansions it currently produces more than 2 Million Ton of crude steel, which is further set to increase after the ongoing modernisation. All the more now DSP wants to install one iron-ore processing unit that too would require additional power.
In March 2001, the CPP was disinvested and was taken over by the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) & National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) JV company named National Steel Power Corporation Limited (NSPCL). NSPCL also assumed charge of the CPP of 120 MW capacity of the Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) in 2001. In 2002 NTPC formed yet another JV company with SAIL’s Bhilai Steel Plant. The new JV company named Bhilai Steel Supply Company took charge of BSP’s CPP with two 30 MW units and one 14 MW back-power turbo generator.
NSPCL operating with the old CPP’s of the SAIL plants didn’t see adequate modernisation and capacity augmentation for the purpose of meeting the increasing demand for power. In this scenario NTPC drafted a plan to expand its capacity in Rourkela, Durgapur and in other parts of the country in the form of thermal, hydel and solar energy.
“Subsequently, as the demand for power increased in the last few years and consequently we were required to go for capacity augmentation. Also our older units were failing to deal with the critical load factor from time to time,” said Mr K R C Murty, GM, NSPCL in Durgapur.
He added: “The capacity augmentation plan was drafted two years ago expecting two 30 MW units each. Recently we have been informed that two 20 MW units have been approved for Durgapur and we expect the new units to start generation in 2016-17.”
An estimated Rs 356.36-crore capacity building plan was recently approved by the SAIL board. Mr Saidul Haq, MP, of Durgapur took up the matter with steel ministry; which ultimately paid off. Mr Saidul Haq, said: “I have received a communication from steel minister which stated about approval for two new units in NSPCL, Durgapur.”
The vintage units of NSPCL, Durgapur generated 1040.8 million units in 2011-12 – utilising 98.6 per cent of its installed capacity, which dipped to 90 per cent utilisation in 2012-13. A senior official said: “The older units can’t bear the load as the demand has crossed 130 MW these days.”
So this news of the approval of two power generating units for DSP will definitely bring a sigh of relief for the DSP collective which is thriving hard to keep the plant production at its peak.