Durgapur Project Limited fails to restart unit 7 due to fire

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Production at the Durgapur unit of the state owned power utility company Durgapur Project Limited (DPL) continues to remain a major area of concern for the company. DPL suffered a major setback yesterday (December 17) when the company’s bid to restart unit 7 failed because of an incident of fire at the unit.

After 12 days of major overhauling, DPL’s power generating unit no. 7 with 300 MW generation capacity was charged with furnace oil for basic synchronization on Tuesday morning. But within minutes, fire balls flared up with smoke fumes and the unit had to be closed down immediately.

At present, the only running unit of DPL is the unit no. 6, which was brought back in production line three days ago after refurbishing job. But the performance of the 6th unit with a rated capacity of 110 MW is far from being satisfactory. The unit was only able to maintain an average generation of between 52 Mw & 55 MW, though before the overhauling job it used to generate 85 MW on an average.

On December 8, unit no. 6 and 7, the two major power generating units of DPL were taken out of the generation line for major overhauling. As unit no. 1 and 2 was de-commissioned 10 years ago and the cost of generating power in unit no 5 was high, DPL authorities took the decision to introduce its idle units of 3 and 4 as a rescue measure to cater the demand. But due to excessive consumption of oil and coal by unit no 3 and 4 the cost of generation was found to be much higher compared to the selling price. So unit 3 and 4 were put out of production and DPL started purchasing power to fulfill its demand.

DPL have already purchased more than 20 million units, from the Indian Energy Exchange and WBSETCL during the period to cater to the need in its command area.

The MD, DPL, Mr Mriganka Majumdar, said: “We are left with a single generating unit that is providing 55 MW and we are drawing 140 MW from the grid. But we expect the unit no. 7 will be re-commissioned shortly.”

All the labour unions have criticized DPL authority for transforming the prestigious power major DPL into a power trading company from a power generating company, as it remained with ‘0’ generation for more than 10 days.

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