Power generation at Durgapur Project Limited reduced to zero

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Durgapur Project Limited

Durgapur Project Limited (DPL), the five decade old state-owned power utility organization has suspended production at its unit in Durgapur. DPL sources revealed that the decision has been taken to prevent losses after due consultation and approval from West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission.

The demand of power from DPL is currently 300 MW but this sudden decision is causing inconvenience both to the domestic and industrial consumers.

DPL is the first undertaking of the Bengal State Government and was set up in Durgapur with the main objective of promoting development of various large, medium and small scale industries in and around Durgapur and also at other places within the State.

DPL started its journey in 1960 with two units of 30 MW each. However these two units (units I and II) were decommissioned 10 years ago.

In June 1964, DPL added units III and IV with generation capacities of 77 MW each. After two years unit V with a production capacity of 77 MW was commissioned. In 1987 unit VI was added with a rated production capacity of 110 MW. In 2008 China’s Dongfang Electric Corp constructed the unit VII of DPL with a production capacity of 300 MW.

For the last few days, the two major power generation units of DPL (VI and VII) were forced to be taken out of the generation line for major overhauling. The power plant introduced its units III and IV as a rescue measure.

“But they hardly can afford generating 90 MW together. They cannot cater to the average daily load and all the more the cost of generation per unit is too high, due to extensive consumption of oil and coal by the old units”, revealed DPL authorities.

The MD, DPL, Mr Mriganka Majumdar, said: “The cost crossed the prescribed tariff causing substantial capital loss to the DPL’s exchequer and so we suspended the entire power generation of the power plant.”

So DPL management stopped production in units III and IV as well and thus the current production of DPL is a big zero.
Though DPL authorities has claimed that they are drawing power from West Bengal Power Development Corporation to cater to its domestic and industrial demand, but residents of Durgapur complains of repeated power-cut from Monday.

Residents of City Centre, Bidhannagar, Shankarpur and Durgapur Station area has complained of several power-cut from Monday (December 9) night. Even the factory owners of Raturia-Angadpur and Bamunara industrial area has complained of repeated power-cuts from Monday.

Though DPL authority is trying to put logic to its decision by citing it as a mere regulatory measure, all the labour unions meanwhile have criticised this step of bringing down power generation to zero as a measure to check financial loss.

The MD, Durgapur Projects Limited, Mr Majumdar said: “We expect that by 15 December the situation will be normalised after the units VI and VII would be added to the generation line.”

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