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Trade unions oppose suspension of ETPS units

(25 Jan 2016)

The trade unions in Tangedco are questioning the decision to suspend generation in the Ennore Thermal Power Plant citing less power demand while continuing to purchase power at high cost.

All the trade unions except AIADMK affiliated Anna Thozhir Sangam Peravai will hold a demonstration outside ETPS on January 27 condemning the management’s decision to not to operate three units — two 110-MW unit and a 60 MW unit — even though they are available for generation. The trade unions have put up a banner outside the ETPS in this regard.

The ETPS, which is the oldest thermal power station in the state, has a total installed capacity of 450 MW comprising of two 60 MW units and three 110 MW units.

“A 60 MW unit I and 110 MW units III and IV which are available for generation have been kept off the grid citing low demand,” said a trade union leader in ETPS on condition of anonymity.

The unit III and IV with a capacity of 110 MW each has been kept in standby mode since January 19 and 14 respectively citing low demand, the union leader said, adding that the generation in the 60 MW unit I which is not in operation from November 13 last year was not resumed due to shortage of operators.

Tamil Nadu Electricity Board Engineer’s Association, in a letter to Tangedco’s CMD, said that the three units together could generate around 130 MW and they are capable of delivering around 90 million units per month at a low cost
“It is learnt that high cost of generation for the month of December 2015 is the main key factor to keep the units in standby condition. But it is a matter of fact that oil consumption in all thermal stations will be considerably high due to wet coal during the rainy season,” the letter said, adding that keeping healthy units under idle conditions would accelerate the deterioration of the parts and the asset would remain unutilised.

The TNEBA said that since the ETPS is located close to the city, there is very little line loss.

“Purchase of private power by abandoning this station may escalate the quantum of line losses,” it said, urging the CMD to consider resuming generation and not to take any hasty decision to close down the station.

A senior Tangedco official dismissed the trade union's charge of the units has been kept in standby condition to purchase power from private companies. “The boiler licences of unit III and IV have expired. Without the renewal of licence, the generation cannot be resumed in these two units,” the official said, adding that the cost of generation in the ETPS is Rs 5.5 per unit which is higher than cost of power purchased.

News Source : Deccan Chronicle

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