Bakreswar Thermal Power Plant- Count down starts
Bakreswar Power Project, since its inception, has been a victim of social turmoil and organized political mis-campaign and non-cooperation. Amidst all uncertainties, Govt. of West Bengal took up the challenge, WBPDCL shouldered the responsibility and people of Bengal extended their moral support - the concert shaped the idea into reality today. It has been a relentless effort since 1988 when Shri Jyoti Basu, Chief Minister of West Bengal laid the foundation stone. The pledge for building Bakreswar with Blood by the people has not gone to a waste and a dream come true.
Out of the total five units, work is on in full swing for three of them at present. Boilers, turbines and generators awaiting formal commissioning, construction of cooling plant, chimney, reservoir, raillines, bunkers for coal, water-lines, dam, ash-ponds - all nearing completion. Strict vigilance is maintained for quality control of all the components.
Zilla Parisad is in charge of all
infrastructural aspects of the project including housing and rehabilitation village. Such
an involvement of local self-government in such a hi-tech power project is possibly
exemplary in the country.
Main components of the project.
1. Main Plant Package at an estimated of Rs. 1178 Cr.
This involves most important components of boilers, turbines, generators and allied important constructions. Utmost care has been taken in selecting the most efficient, retrofit equipment's to ensure better stability in generation and its management under transient and full load condition and also to improve the operational efficiency. The boiler design has been made for hundred percent coal burning (even very poor quality of coal would also be suitable) and very low emission of Nox. All major equipment's are supposed to be retrofit for two shift operation. Design of major load bearing equipment's like turbine, boiler, generator etc. have been aimed at minimising oil rate, auxiliary consumption rate and also to have better heat rate, efficiency and plant life.
2. Transmission Package
Estimated cost Rs. 205 Cr.
Power generation to be transmitted to five sub-stations at Jeerut, Arambag, Satgachia, Bidhannagar-Durgapur & Gokarna.
3. Water package costing around Rs. 138 Cr.
A dam with a catchment area of 3000 acres has been constructed to make provision of water from both Tilpara reservoir and Bakreswar river. Alternative arrangement through deep-tubewell etc. has also been made to compensate for the loss of irrigational facilities.
4. Coal Handling Plant Package costing around Rs. 148 Cr. for an estimated daily consumption of 150 wagon-load of coal.
The fuel from 15-KM away coal-belt will be brought to the plant through rail to be unloaded directly on a conveyor belt in underground bunker, finally to be transported to the powerhouse through a 210 Mtr long tunnel after necessary grading and crushing. This involves very critical and excellent piece of constructional intricacy, which is on the verge of completion now.
5. Ash utilisation package for Rs. 85 Cr.
Considering the pollution potential of thermal power plants, appropriate measures will be adopted for most effective disposal and utilisation of the fly ash to be produced in the plant. A research work conducted jointly with CFRI shows that fly ash can well be used in agriculture which gives nearly 50% more yield of paddy than the conventional agricultural practice.
Bakreswar, today, is very much ON the Power map of the country. The major work related to infrastructure e.g. Land Acquisation, Rehabilitation of Evicted People and Farmers, Boundary Wall, Road and Sewerage, Railway Link with Andai-Sainthia Line, Substation and Distribution System, Water Canal from River Mayrakshi and Intake Pump-House, Two Reservoirs of 695000 cu. mt. Capacity, Drinking Water and Associated Filtration Plant, Administrative building, Housing and Township etc. are almost completed.
The zero date, after financial closure, was declared as 31st May, 1996. The project got tied up with long term loan from OECF. On 18th June, 1996, West Bengal Power Development Corporation, the promoter, formally entered into agreement with Itochu Corporation of Japan for commissioning first two units (Unite no. 1 & 2 of 210 MW capacity each). It was scheduled to be completed by 42 months and the main plant package of Rupees 1172 crores was finalised through Global Competitive Bidding and it went in favour of BHEL-ITOCHU consortium. BHEL is one of the largest power plant equipment manufacturing organisations, globally competent and well recognised Public Sector Undertaking for its capability.
India, today, is passing through a most critical situation as a result of blind acceptance IMF/World Bank prescribed policy of liberalisation. The Governments at the centre are continuously ignoring the national interest, aspects of self-reliance and sovereignty. At this jucture, BHEL's involvement in the project is significant. This reflects the attitude of Left Front Government of West Bengal towards providing equal level playing field for all the companies. Nearly sixty percent of equipment supply will be indigenous. This has helped mind-boggling cost reduction and on the whole, Bakreswar (Phase I) is expected to generate power at an approximate cost of Rs. 3.45 crores per MW, whereas the same cost for contemporary projects hover between Rs. 4.5-5 crores per MW, if not more.
West Bengal is already a power surplus state. Sustained effort from people, workers and engineers, time bound target planning & prioritisation resulted in a complete turn around from the dark days of seventies. The State is on the path of industrial revival. It will be one more milestone in the ongoing process of industrial rejuvenation in the State in July 1999 - just after 39 months from the declaration of zero-date, when the first unit at Bakreswar will go on stream. Subsequently, the units 2,3,4 and 5 will be brought into operation to complete the 1050 MW Bakreswar Thermal Power Plant.
The project, which was initiated with much zeal and sacrifice of people of West Bengal, will not only be completed, but will also be considered as a landmark of commendable performance and efficiency leading to considerable time and cost reduction. This is what a country like India requires most.
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