Monday, August 30, 2010

Addl 300 mw of Ratnagiri plant onstream by Oct


"Addl 300 mw of Ratnagiri plant onstream by Oct

JSW Energy on Monday said an additional 300 mw of the 1,200-mw Ratnagiri power plant will go on-stream by October this year. The company's first phase (300 mw) power plant is already synchronised with the grid, a top company official said. “Our first phase (300 mw) power plant is synchronised with the grid. We will commission the second phase (300 mw) of our 1,200-mw power plant at Ratnagiri from next month,” company CMD Sajjan Jindal said. Earlier, the environment ministry raised questions about the project after mango growers in the Ratnagiri area complained against the plant. The mango growers had expressed concerns that toxic gases emitted by the thermal power."


Aging units + scanty rain = power paucity

Aging units + scanty rain = power paucity
Manu Aiyappa and Senthalir S, TNN, Aug 29, 2010, 11.29pm IST

BANGALORE: Although the situation is still far from normal, there has been a slight improvement of late. The past two months were particularly tiresome owing to sharp decline in power generation because of scanty rainfall in July and August coupled with wet coal and old machinery at the major thermal power plants.

"The situation has improved after the government initiated steps to buy 1,000 MW daily and restored some inactive units at major thermal plants," said a senior energy department official. Given the current situation, officials say the power demand in summer may be difficult to meet even if the government gets another 1,000 MW daily. According to figures of the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation ( KPTC), power supply in the state has improved in recent times __ from 108.06 million units (MU) daily on August 5 to 121.08 MU on August 21. But, it'll face a shortfall of 15-25 MU in summer when demand is set to cross the danger 140 MU mark.

Generation in the state has been so low that power purchased from private players is much higher than that generated. The inefficient thermal units and the low reservoir levels have hit both thermal and hydropower generation. On August 18, the power generated by Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) was 44.3 MU and power purchased from private players was 83.5 MU. On August 20, power generated was 57.2 MU compared to 63 MU purchased from private players.


The authorities are also in panic as water levels in major hydel reservoirs -- Linganmakki, Supa and Mane -- have already started receding due to lack of rain. "Water shortage has already compelled us to reduce generation to 4422 MU, a shortage of 1389 MU,'' sources said.

The levels of hydroelectric generation reservoirs continue to be lesser compared to the corresponding period of 10 years average level and also the previous year levels.


Reservoir ------ Present -- Last year -- 10-yr avg
Linganamakki -- 1,794.95 -- 1,809.30 -- 1,804.51
Supa -- ------- 1,772.54 -- 1,783.96 -- 1,787.25
Varahi --------- 1,918.64 -- 1,926.67 -- 1,928.14

(All units in ft)


"Karnataka is facing a power shortage because the investments that ought to have taken place in the public sector did not happen. The Centre, through the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and KPC (Karnataka Power Corporation), failed to undertake the required investments. The impact of those mistakes is being experienced ten years down the line. Having learnt that lesson, investments are now taking place in the public sector too," said former power minister K S Eshwarappa.

KPC managing director S M Jaamdar echoed his view: "The majority of RTPS units are over 25 years old and obsolete. Though they're supposed to generate 500 MW together daily, they generate only 250-300 MW. Reconstruction and renovation of such units cannot be taken up immediately as it will take a maximum of two years and the state is not in a position to lose 250-300 MW of power."


A dozen projects are in the pipeline, and most will be operational in 3-7 years. "For Karnataka to become power sufficient, there are enough projects in progress but ground-level issues like land acquisition and environmental clearance are a concern. Everybody wants power, but nobody wants a power plant in their backyard,'' said a worried senior minister.

"Karnataka has embarked on an ambitious plan of adding 10,000MW of power before the end of the 12th Plan (2017), and 5,000 MW (of this) would be added in the next four years during the 11th Plan itself," Yeddyurappa said.

NTPC will start construction of its proposed 4000 MW ultra mega power project in Kudgi (Bijapur) with an investment of Rs 20,000 crore by this year-end and expected to be commissioned by 2013-14. "We have already handed over Rs 26.22 crore to the Karnataka government for 3500 acres of land and requested the state government to expedite acquisition," said R S Sharma, chairman, NTPC.

Another project in Chhattisgarh is a joint venture of KPC and the Chhattisgarh government for a Rs 6000 crore, 1,200 MW thermal plant, the first project by KPC outside Karnataka. The Chhattisgarh government has ensured early allocation of land and coal linkage for KPCL under its industrial policy. Karnataka will draw 70% power from the plant with the home state getting the rest, they added.

Karnataka also recently approved gas-based power projects involving over 5,000 MW during the Global Investors Meet in June this year. These include three projects of 700 MW each at Belgaum, Gadag and Davanagere along the 800-km pipeline from Dabhol in Maharashtra to Bidadi near Bangalore.

A 2,000 MW gas-based project at Bidadi to be executed by KPC has also been approved and steps taken to acquire 300 acres for it.


All these projects along with a dozen of mini power projects will come up. By the time, all these projects are completed, the demand may be much higher and the state still struggling to meet it. We need private participation in the power sector and promotion of renewable energy.

Read more: Aging units + scanty rain = power paucity - Bangalore - City - The Times of India

Aam Vs The Aadmi | Aam Vs The Aadmi | ecology: maharashtra

Aam Vs The Aadmi
What’s eating up Ratnagiri’s fruit?
Debarshi Dasgupta

    Fruit And Nut

    * An MoEF-appointed expert claims pollution benefits mango and cashew trees in Ratnagiri
    * Earlier studies show pollution from brick kilns/power plants harms mango trees
    * MoEF stops further projects.


Can vehicular pollution benefit trees? In fact, make them healthier than those in non-polluted areas? Perplexing as it may sound, that was the conclusion of an expert appointed by the Union ministry of environment and forests (MOEF) to ascertain the possible impact of pollution from JSW Energy Ltd’s coal-fired power plant in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, on the area’s famed Alphonso mangoes and cashew.

C.R. Babu, head of the Delhi-based Centre for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems, had visited the area last November. Since there were no functional thermal power plants there, he chose to study the impact of vehicular pollution instead. And in a report submitted this February, he said the trees in the area under study “are normal and even better than those found near the project site due to the edaphic factor”—that is, the subsoil there has a unique property that enables trees to metabolise sulphur and nitrogen better. Nor did he find any leaf injuries or difference in plant type or physiological parameters.

Babu also observed that the concerned area was close to “tropical seas” (sic) and had an excellent drainage system. It also got high rainfall for at least 4-6 months a year. No winter deviations can be observed in the normal atmospheric properties either. “Self-purification of atmosphere takes place with no build-up of pollution load,” he noted. “Consequently, plantations may not be affected the same way as conceived by local communities.”

A big lie, allege activists. “He (Babu) spent only about a day here, that too a day after Cyclone Phyan hit Ratnagiri (Nov 11, 2009) that uprooted many trees,” says Vivek Bhide of the Ratnagiri Zila Jagruk Manch. Earlier studies, he adds, have shown that carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and other emissions from brick kilns are directly responsible for black tips in mango trees, a disorder that retards the growth of fruit and renders it inedible. The Lucknow-based Industrial Toxicology Research Centre too in its study had attributed a reduction in the quality and quantity of mangoes to SO2 emissions. “Given this, are we to believe that burning 12,000 metric tonnes of coal everyday in the plant will benefit the mango trees?” Bhide asks.

Based on Babu’s report, the MOEF had cleared JSW’s 1,200 mw power plant. But following the public outcry, the ministry in June ordered the creation of a supervisory committee headed by P. Pujari of Dr Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth in Dapoli. A planned 3,600-mw expansion of the plant hasn’t been cleared yet. Opposition has also built up against a planned nuclear plant of over 10,000 MW in Jaitapur (in Ratnagiri district) and mining projects around Kalane (in Sindhudurg district).

Given this spate of public sentiment against existing and planned projects, the MOEF on August 16 issued a moratorium on further proposals in these two districts till Dec 2010, calling for a “regional approach” in the appraisal of these projects. Madhav Gadgil, member of the National Advisory Council and also the chairman of the MOEF’s Western Ghats ecology expert panel, says it has received many submissions expressing concerns about the ecological impact of the growing number of projects. “We certainly plan to take a review in our next meeting on September 27 in Goa,” he says. Having issued a red flag to Vedanta’s mining project, the MOEF finally seems to be restoring its long-lost writ on the country’s other eco-sensitive regions.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Activists Use Legal Weapons to Stop Thermal Power Plants- Pankaj Sekhsaria

Activists Use Legal Weapons to Stop Thermal Power Plants
By Pankaj Sekhsaria

HYDERABAD, India, Aug 27, 2010 (IPS) - Green activists have various ways of pushing their causes, from enlisting movie stars to launching protests, but India’s campaigners have also been quietly using legal weapons to try to get the projects they oppose, such as thermal plants, stopped or reversed.

This trend bears watching in the light of two cases where decisions affecting such projects, many of which are on the drawing board in different parts of India, have been made in courtrooms.

In July, the death of two protesters led to the cancellation of the environmental clearance of a thermal power plant project in southern Andhra Pradesh state, a decision that green activists took as victory.

But just a day before the Jul. 14 violence at the Nagarjuna Construction Company Power Projects Ltd project site at Sompeta, the Andhra Pradesh High Court dismissed a petition to stop a similar power plant project in the same district – Srikakulam.

This project by East Coast Energy Pvt Ltd is at Bhavanapadu in the wetlands area of Naupada village.

Lawyer Ritwick Dutta, representing the Paryavaran Parirakshana Sangham and other appellants says that Naupada is recognised by the Bombay Natural History Society and BirdLife International as a key habitat of the endangered Spot-billed Pelican, which breeds only in peninsular India, Sri Lanka and Cambodia.

Dutta had argued the case against the 12,000-crore (2.5 billion U.S. dollar) Nagarjuna project before the quasi-judicial National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA), which eventually cancelled the environmental clearance for the 2,640-megawatt plant.

In fact, the firing by police in Sompeta occurred at about the same time that the case was being argued before the appellate authority in New Delhi.

The results in the Nagarjuna and East Coast cases are different, but highlight how courtrooms are increasingly being asked to decide the fate of these projects – many already with environment clearances – in lawsuits by non-government groups protesting schemes that they say would displace communities and harm sensitive environments.

But Sanjay Upadhyay, a New Delhi-based Supreme Court lawyer, says that the trend of plaintiffs approaching the courts in environmental matters cannot be a long-term solution to deciding policy.

Instead, he says in an interview, internal mechanisms and administrative systems inside the government must be strengthened, so that conflicting issues are resolved before clearances are issued in the first place. "Internal arrangements are very weak and systems can’t be run by courtrooms", Upadhyay pointed out.

According to the 2009 report by the environmental group Kalpavriksh entitled ‘Calling the Bluff: Revealing the state of Monitoring and Compliance of Environmental Clearance Conditions’, the Ministry of Environment and Forests clears 80 to 100 projects every month with a range of environment and social conditions.

Thermal power accounts for more than 70 percent of India’s electricity supply. Its annual per capita electricity consumption has increased from 566.7 kilowatt-hours in 2002-03 to 704 kwh in 2007-08.

Among India’s southern states, Andhra Pradesh has the highest installed capacity in coal-based utilities, which generate nearly 6,700 mw.

State officials explain that thermal power plant projects represent a total investment of up to 85,000 crore rupees (18 billion dollars) in Srikakulam alone, aside from providing 10,000 mw of power altogether.

But former government bureaucrat E A S Sarma, now convenor of the Forum for a Better Visakha, argues that none of these projects should be allowed in the coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh.

"These are coming up under the policy of the state government to promote merchant power plants, where land is being given cheap to the developers at the cost of the coastal environment and livelihoods of the local people," he said.

A report by the environment ministry notes that the area where the Nagarjuna project was to proceed has significant biodiversity, including medicinal plants and at least 120 bird species. T Rama Rao, vice president of the Sompeta-based Paryavaran Parirakshan Sangham (Environment Protection Committee) that is leading the opposition to the project along with Teera Pranta Matsyaka Aikya Vedika (Coastal Fisherfolk Unity Platform), says nearly 250,000 people from 24 fishing and 40 farming villages would have been affected by it.

At least six thermal plants are planned in Andhra Pradesh. Some, like the 2,630-mw project at Bhavanapadu by East Coast Energy – the subject of the July decision upholding the environment clearance thus far – and the 2,640-mw plant of Alpha Infra Prop Pvt Ltd at Komarada in neighbouring Vizianagaram district already have environment clearances.

The fatal shooting of two protesters in July seems to have inspired other communities to stand up for themselves.

Sarma observed, "It is now clear to people that the government itself is violating the law. They have realised their strength and opposition to projects here has gained strength in the last few days."

"The larger issue is that we have created systems that are guzzlers of energy," he added. "We can’t hope to keep adding megawatts like we have been doing so far. The demand for electricity has been artificially created and we have to work on steps like reducing transmission losses, using more efficient end-use devices, and make our systems more efficient."

Meantime, Nagarjuna’s corporate communications head, P L Murari, said the company "would do anything to address the genuine concerns of the local people regarding setting up of the power plant."

But the NEAA’s order cancelling the Sompeta project clearly states: "The Ministry should undertake survey of all wetlands in Srikakulam district for their ecological sensitiveness as soon as possible and pending this, no project should be cleared in such locations." (END)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Jairam plays Maha obstructionist - The Economic Times

Jairam plays Maha obstructionist - Politics/Nation - News - The Economic Times
MUMBAI: The work on over a dozen power projects and 55 mines — all in the Konkan region — may come to halt soon with the Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh ordering a status quo on all these projects. “The Union ministry has asked to stay work on these many projects till it receives expert committee’s report on the issue,” a top government official, associated with these projects’ implementation , toldETrequesting anonymity................................
..........Some of the important projects to be affected by the environment ministry’s diktat are: proposed 10,000 mw atomic project at Dhopave in Ratnagiri, 5x800mw imported coal-based ultra mega thermal power project at Girye along with thermal power projects of various capacities at Shahpur, Bhopan, Jaigad, Ranpar, Pavas, Munge and Dhakare. ...................

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Moratorium on projects in Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri

Moratorium on project proposals in 2 districts - Pune - City - The Times of India
PUNE: The Union ministry of environment and forests on Friday decided to impose a moratorium on consideration of projects under the environmental impact assessment notification, 2006, received by the ministry or the Maharashtra State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority from Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts after August 16 and till December 2010.

This decision followed concerns raised about the environmental impact and ecological degradation due to the large number of projects being proposed in the region as well as the projects under implementation. The ministry said that there was a need to take necessary regional approach during appraisal of projects.

The matter regarding developmental trends in these two districts was referred to the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel constituted by the ministry for conservation and protection of the Western Ghats region.

The projects were getting cleared in isolation one by one, which was not appropriate, Madhav Gadgil, chairman of the panel, told TOI on Friday. "So the ministry want to take a look at the whole range of developmental activities in these two districts, he added.

Recently, Union minister of environment and forests Jairam Ramesh, who was in Pune, had also pointed out the need to look into the impact on the eco-system due to power projects in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.

Gadgil told TOI recently that the ministry had sought views on the projects in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg. In his presentation on western ghats, Gadgil says that environmental impact assessments completely ignore impacts of power lines associated with power projects. Destructive development projects are going ahead, despite every gram panchayat in the locality resolving that they do not want such activities.

Archana Godbole, member of the Save the Western Ghats movement core group, said that the moratorium was a welcome step. "It gives more time for NGOs and the people to have a say and stop these developmental projects, particularly the thermal power plant and mining projects in these bio-diversity rich places.''

According to Godbole, the proposed mining projects in Sindhudurg are expected to pose a threat to the forest eco-system. Iron ore mining has been proposed in the villages of Asaniye, Kolzar, Zolambe, Talkat, Dongarpal, Udeli and Galel in the Sawantwadi and Dodamarg blocks.

Godbole, who is also the director of the Applied Environmental Research Foundation, a city-based NGO working in the Konkan region, said that the Western Ghats part of Sindhudurg district included the area from the Amboli reserve forest to the westerly slopes through Sawantwadi and Dodamarg blocks to Tilari in the south, bordering Karnataka. The landscape is about 150 sq km and should be declared as ecologically sensitive.

Recently, the ministry has formed a supervisory committee to monitor the impact of suspended particulate matter, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide due to the coal-based thermal power plant at Jaigad in Ratnagiri district.

Read more: Moratorium on project proposals in 2 districts - Pune - City - The Times of India

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Muttemwar urges PM to intervene in power plant coming in city, IBN Live News

Muttemwar urges PM to intervene in power plant coming in city, IBN Live News

Nagpur, Aug 6 (PTI) Former Union Minister and local MP Vilas Muttemar (Congress) today urged Prime Minister to intervene and direct the Maharashtra Government and Ministry of Environment to shift proposed thermal power plant outside city limits. Muttemwar in a memorandum submitted to Prime Minister said Maharashtra Government has approved a proposal of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to set up a 420 MW Thermal Power plant in city. Nagpur is having a population of approximately 35 lakhs and power requirement is 283 MW as against existing power generation capacity in Vidarbha of 5400 MW. The setting up of a thermal power plant in city will create numerous problems to the people like heavy pollution.The NMC has projected that waste water will be utilised to meet the requirement for electricity generation which was not correct, he said. The authorities will therefore use fresh water which was required actually for the citizens, Muttemwar said in his memorandum, a copy of which was released to press here. The proposed power plant will be consuming 7000 tonnes of coal and 35,000 cubmic metre water and produce 2700 metric tonnes of fly ash and movements of truck will further pollute the environment. About 215 acres of land will be required to dump ash. All this at the cost health of Nagpurians, he said. In this part of Vidarbha region (East), NTPC was setting up 1000 MW super thermal power plant at Mouda (Near Nagpur), Adani Group was setting up 1980 MW plant at Tiroda (Gondia) while capacities of Khaperkheda, Chandrapur are being enhanced. The propriety of setting up new 420 MW power station in the heart of city was being raised, Muttemwar said while expressing his concern, the release added.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Wet coal has hit power generation: Ajit Pawar - Mumbai - City - The Times of India

Wet coal has hit power generation: Ajit Pawar - Mumbai - City - The Times of India
MUMBAI: Power generation has been affected in the state as the coal utilised by power projects has got wet in the rains, energy minister Ajit Pawar told TOI.

"As a result, the plants could not generate power to its full capacity. Besides, power generation from Koyna project in western Maharashtra has been kept closed as the work of lake tapping is still on. Moreover, one unit of the power generating unit at Dabhol had stopped production,'' said Pawar.

The state has thermal power plants at Parli, Koradi, Bhusawal, Chandrapur and other places. The minister said that the demand for power had gone up to 15,000 MW in peak summer. "With the onset of monsoon, there is no need for water pumps in fields. Besides, people have reduced the usage of air-conditioners and fans. There is a lot of shortfall and we produce around 9,000 MW now,'' said Pawar.

There is still a shortfall of 4,000 MW, while in summer, the shortfall was 6,000 MW.

He said that due to a good rainfall, many dams where hydro-electricity is generated are filled up. In the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, the state electricity board supplies power to Thane, Mulund, Bhandup, Vasai-Virar, Navi-Mumbai, Panvel, Kalyan-Dombivli and Ambernath.

Read more: Wet coal has hit power generation: Ajit Pawar - Mumbai - City - The Times of India

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Chimney Failures: A setback to Indian Power Sector @

Chimney Failures: A setback to Indian Power Sector @

Punjab Newsline Network

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Chimney Failures: A setback to Indian Power Sector -
Chimney Failures: A setback to Indian Power Sector
By Jagvir Goyal
Jagvir Goyal -
Jagvir Goyal
Recent failure of tall RCC Chimneys, one after another, in India has caused a severe setback to ambitious capacity addition plans of the country!

On July 29, 2010, a part of the 275 metre high RCC Chimney being constructed for 2 X 500 MW thermal power plant at Bhusawal in Maharashtra collapsed, burying many people under the debris. The chimney was being constructed by Gammon India Limited, known to be a leading construction company of the country. The two units of this thermal power plant are scheduled to be run for trial operations in August, 2010 and December, 2010. Now the fate of one of the units is unknown. Clearance of debris, ascertaining the reasons behind chimney failure, restoration of work at chimney site and its completion may consume a lot of extra time. Above all that, the big question, whether the chimney is safe or not to serve the power unit for its designed life lurks in the minds of project authorities!

In May, 2010, a 210 m high tall RCC chimney collapsed at Parichha, near Jhansi, in UP. The chimney couldn’t withstand high wind velocities and went down over more than 40 workers, having their lunch under its shadow. The chimney was recently constructed by National Building Construction Company, NBCC, another major giant in construction sector, for a 500 MW power plant being set up by UP Power Corporation Limited. Now, the operation of the two power units to which the chimney was serving as a twin-flue chimney stands suspended for an indefinite period. Suggestions are afloat to utilize the rotor of Parichha Thermal power plant for Chanderpur Thermal power plant where also, power generation of an unit stands stopped since May 7 due to occurrence of some damage to its rotor.
In September, 2009, an RCC Chimney of a 2 X 600 MW power plant being set up by Bharat Aluminium Company limited (BALCO), a subsidiary of Sterlite Industries limited, at Korba near Raipur in Chhattisgarh state had collapsed, killing scores of workers under its debris. The incident had sent shock waves all over the world. The setting up of the 1200 MW power plant had been assigned by BALCO to Shandong Electric Power Corporation Limited, a Chinese company who had further entrusted the construction work of 275 meter high chimney to Gannon Dunkerley Company Limited.

India has already mastered the art of tall chimney construction. Many tall RCC chimneys are now dotting Indian map, a number of them constructed and completed in record short periods. The equipment is available, the materials are available, skilled manpower is available and the design modules are available. Then why all these failures, one after the other?

The design of each such chimney that fails needs to be checked thoroughly, specially against occurrence of resonance phenomenon under high velocity storm conditions. Such a phenomenon occurs when more than one chimneys are constructed in a thermal project and their frequencies are not mistuned. If the design of chimneys is found safe then clearly, lack of supervision, use of sub-standard materials in construction, non-adherence to the quality control norms and inconsistent checking procedures are behind all these failures.
Chimneys are special structures and need special attention during their construction. Their construction technique is special which requires the concrete to be specifically designed to meet certain of its requirements. During construction of chimneys, a sharp eye has to be kept on verticality, tilt and twist of chimney. One factor ignored and a chimney may come falling down!

A power unit can not be commissioned unless its chimney has been completed and is available to pass the thousands of tones of smoke at a designed height in the atmosphere. Stringent environmental pollution prevention norms have increased the minimum height of chimneys to plus 200 metres, that is more than 3 times the height of Qutab Minar. How can engineers go lax in construction of such important structures?

A plus 200 metre high twin flue chimney consumes more than 2 years for its completion. India, planning to add 100,000 MW to its power map by the year 2012, can’t afford to delay the commissioning of its power units by such a long period!

-Er.Jagvir Goyal is author, Books on Tall Chimney construction