Punjab Short Of 200 Lakh Units Of Power Due To Boiler Leakage At 2 Plants

Despite the paddy season almost a month away, Patiala, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Sangrur, Ferozepur and Amritsar cities have been facing frequent power cuts. Amidst this crisis and the situation of high demand and supply during high temperature in summers, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has now faced another blow due to the boiler leakage at one unit each at Talwandi Sabo and Ropar thermal plants. As per the experts, this would result in a shortage of around 200 lakh units per day for the next three days.

As Punjab has already bought power worth over Rs 200 crore, this shortage may lead to more power cuts in the upcoming months. As per the media report of ‘The Tribune’, a senior PSPCL officer has said, “At present, the demand is somewhere around 7,500 MW and the supply is less than that, following which we resort to power cuts to manage the gap”.

Meanwhile, the shortage of coal means the power generation at almost all thermal plants is less than their full capacity in order to stock on coal, ahead of the paddy season starting June when Punjab’s power demand will reach 15,000 MW.

Though the PSPCL claims that the “power interruptions are for a limited period” due to “high demand during night hours”, power experts warn of long power cuts in the coming four months.

Earlier this month, Power Minister Harbhajan Singh had said that the PSPCL had made additional arrangements to cater to the peak demand in the coming paddy season. However, a former PSPCL chief engineer said the industry was worried about the pre-paddy season too.

The daily coal requirement of all five thermal plants is around 75 metric tonnes while operating at the plant load factor of over 85 per cent. Despite running at a reduced capacity, the thermal plants in Punjab are not getting even half the daily coal requirement.

Meanwhile, the PSPCL claims to have sufficient power to meet the power demand in the paddy season. But now, it’s a bigger challenge for the AAP govt to fulfill its guarantee of the ‘300 units of free power supply’ to the people of Punjab.

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