CAG report: Amarkantak plant op not satisfactory

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Bhopal, Mar 24: Improper operation and maintenance of the Madhya Pradesh Power Generating Company's 290 megawatt Amarkantak Thermal Power Station at Chachai in Shahdol district came in for sharp criticism by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

''The performance of the power station was far from satisfactory. Inspite of the recommendations of the Committee on Public Undertakings, effective measures were not taken to bring down auxiliary consumption, consumption of coal, oil and demineralised water within the parameters prescribed by the Central Electricity Authority'', says the CAG's audit report (commercial) for the year ended March 31, 2007, presented in the Assembly recently.

The CAG report criticising the working of the power station came in the wake of the BJP government blaming the Centre for delayed implementation by the public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) of the new units at Amarkantak and Satpura power stations.

While reviewing the operational performance of Amarkantak station during 2002-2007, the report found lacunae on many counts- shortfall in generation, auxiliary consumption of power at the power station was in excess of norms, low thermal efficiency, excess station heat rate, consumption of excess coal, faulty verification of coal stock, consumption of excess fuel oil, excess consumption of demineralised water, excess outages, excess time taken in overhauling and capital overhauling, low plant load factor, delay in commissioning of digital automatic voltage regulator, higher maintenance expenditure on old locos and delay in renovation and modernisation work.

The Amarkantak station has four units with total capacity of 290 megawatt while construction of one additional unit of 210 MW was under progress, the report said.

''The power station had not developed maintenance policy and due to improper operation and maintenance planning, there were frequent forced outages and excess time taken for planned outages. Due to delay in taking up renovation and modernisation work, the company failed to improve the efficiency of the plant'', the CAG noted.

''There was shortfall in generation of 3801.16 million units valued at Rs 1140.35 crore mainly due to planning deficiency, while consumption of 23.17 lakh tonnes of coal in excess of norms resulted in extra expenditure of Rs 250 crore'', the report pointed out.

''There was excess outages for 28,740 hours resulting in loss of generation of 1305.08 million units valued at Rs 392 crore'', it said.

The decision to go in for 210 megawatt instead of 250 MW unit was imprudent as the water savings from scraping of power house number one would have met the additional requirement of 250 MW unit.

The company failed to complete the renovation and modernisation works of power house number two and the new 210 MW unit within Tenth Plan and thereby lost three percent interest subsidy from Government of India on the loan taken from Power Finance Corporation, the CAG added.


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