Durgapur Project Limited – the oldest power generating company of Durgapur is all set to shut down three of its power generating units. Top company officials of the state owned Durgapur Project Limited (DPL) has recommended the closure of its Unit No. III, IV and V as the production cost in all these three units are too high.
During his recent visit to DPL, state power secretary, Mr. Gopal Krishnan suggested liquidation of the units Nos III, IV & V to reduce the overall cost of power generation. He also recommended restriction on purchase of spares for unit No. VI, so that it can also be liquidated in a phased manner.
Mr. Krishnan told news reporters in Durgapur: “Since these units have been used for a very long time, the cost of generation in the units have gone much higher which, DPL can’t afford as it is already under hefty financial burden.”
He said: “The matter would soon be placed before the DPL Board for approval. The liquidation of the units however won’t affect the generation strength of DPL as the unit no. VIII with 500 MW capacity would start power generation by the end of March.”
DPL has liquidated its unit no. I and II ten years ago. Unit nos. III and IV with a rated capacity of 77 MW each were commissioned in 1964 while Unit V with 77 MW was commissioned in 1966.
Cost of generation by these three old units has been higher compared to the per unit revenue earned. The cost of generation in these units is around Rs 5.50 per unit and the selling price of DPL’s power per unit is Rs 4.19 per unit.
So as of now, unit VII with a production capacity of 300 MW remains the only ray of hope for this power utility company, till unit VIII commences production. However unit VII installed in 2008 by China’s Dongfang Electric Corporation is known for frequent failure.
All this suggests a very gloomy picture for this five-decade old power generation company under the state government.
The bid to liquidate the units has earned criticism from workers and trade unions in DPL. They have raised question about the decision to liquidate units and downsize production capacities at a time when power units across the region are trying to augment generation capacity.