Decrease in demand of electricity impairs thermal power stations

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 May 2017 14:27:31


By Ashish Rajput,

SURPLUS energy status leading to decrease in electricity demand has disabled the performance of thermal power stations in Madhya Pradesh. Compressing pollution control norms and unexceptional drop in the price of renewable energy are turning out to be another stumbling knock for coal-fired power stations.


There is a clear shift of power sector from conventional power side towards renewable energy after the recent power purchase agreement of Rs 2.97 per unit at Rewa Solar Power Project. Government of India has targeted to ensure 175 GWs renewable energy by 2022, while a report of Central Electricity Authority (CEA) cleared that the country does not need any more thermal power plant before 2022 as coal-fired plants of around 70,000 MWs capacity are under construction.


Another major jolt for coal-fired power producers is mandatory adoption of Flue Gas Desulphurization (FGD) and Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR) technologies as it will cost around Rs 71,000 crore for its implementation at thermal power stations in the country with installed capacity of around 1.90 lakh MW to check environmental threats till December 2017.


“It is really a challenging period for the thermal power stations throughout the country for meeting environmental norms and curtailing expenditure of coal fired power generation. The company is trying to implement best practices for checking cost of power production and optimum utilisation of plants”, says Anand Prakash Bhairve, Managing Director of MPPGCL. MD, AP Bhairve, while talking to ‘The Hitavada’ informed that despite registering highest 85.4 percent plant availability factor (PAF), company’s plant load factor (PLF) was restricted with 40.5 percent in year 2016 – 17 that is lowest in last one decade. Besides this, coal fuelled power stations in the state are running under capacity due to sluggish power demand.


It may be noted that inspite of registering highest electricity demand upto 11,800 MWs, the overall electricity demand in the State was curtailed by around 20 per cent in the past financial year. Madhya Pradesh Power Generating Company Limited (MPPGCL) produced 14,470 million units in year 2016-17 against the previous year generation of 18,601 million units. Highest PAF of company’s thermal power stations confirmed that the company has deliberately operated its stations under load.


In terms of business, the performance of power generating company could not be overlooked as even after facing losses of around Rs 1,000 crore since last one decade, the company has registered profit of Rs 26.16 crore (before taxes) in the year 2015-16 and targeted to register commercial profit amounting of more than Rs 200 crore in 2016-17.