Tarn Taran (Punjab) [India]: Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday dedicated the Sri Guru Amar Dass Thermal Plant, which was recently purchased by the state government from a private company, to the people.The plant was purchased from private company GVK Power at a cost of Rs 1080 crore.
"For the first time, a reverse trend was witnessed in the state as the government purchased a private power plant whereas in the past the state governments used to sell their assets to the favorite individuals at 'throw away' prices.
This power plant is the cheapest purchase made by any state or private company as other power plants like Korba West, Jhabua Power and Lanco Amarkantak of capacity 600 MW have been purchased at Rs 1804 crore, Rs 1910 crore and Rs 1818 crore respectively," the state government said in an official statement.
The power plant has been renamed as Sri Guru Amardass Thermal Power plant, after the third Sikh Guru.The available capacity of the power plant is 61 per cent while it was used only at 34 per cent of capacity, the release stated, adding that it will now run at 75-80 per cent of its capacity, thereby augmenting the power generation in the state.
"As coal from Pachwara coal mine, allotted to Punjab, can be used only for government power plants so with purchase of this power plant this coal can be aptly utilized for producing power to provide it to every sector of the state," the statement added.Further, according to the government, the purchase will help in the reduction in overall power tariff by over Rs 1 per unit while also resulting in savings of Rs 300- 350 crores on power purchase, thereby benefiting electricity consumers.
The plant will also help in higher power generation due to availability of coal from Pachhwara coal mine as Plant Load Factor (PLF) is likely to go up to 75 to 80 per cent against average Plant Load Factor (PLF) 34 per cent so far.
"The operationalisation of this plant will also open new Employment opportunities for the youth of the State of Punjab thereby making them an equal partner in the growth and prosperity of the state. Pertinently, 540 (2x270) MW GVK Goindwal Sahib Thermal plant, a MOU route cost plus basis project was envisaged in 1992," the statement added.Initially, a PPA for a 500 MW plant was signed in 2000.
Thereafter a MOU for a 540 MW plant was signed in 2006 followed by an amended PPA for 540 MW in 2009.This project was commissioned in 2016, and, to purchase it, PSPCL along with 11 other contenders namely Jindal Power, Adani Power, Vedanta Group, Rashmi Metaliks, Sherisha Technologies, Sai Wardha Power, Megha Engineering and Infrastructures, India Coke and Power Pvt. Ltd., RKG Fund (RKG Trust), KLu Resources and Capri Global Holdings and Pvt Ltd. submitted their applications in February 2023 after which PSPCL finally acquired it.
Between 2016 and 2023, the state government had purchased 11165 million units of power by paying Rs 7902 crore, Rs 7.08 per unit, to the power plants.However, the estimated per unit cost after the acquisition of Pachwara coal will now be Rs 4.50 per unit, the release stated, adding that it will save Rs 300-350 crore per annum which will be judiciously utilised for the well-being of the people.With the acquisition of this plant, the state now has three government and two private-run and operational thermal plants.