The Delhi government’s 1500MW gas-based plant in Bawana has been in the news for the past few years because of the gas crisis. The plant was pitched as a solution to the capital’s dependence on other states for meeting its power demand. But, shortage of gas to operate the plant has made it more of a liability.
Discoms have not yet sourced power from the plant this season. But with the temperature rising, they may be left with no choice. The peak demand this year is expected to be about 6200MW.
Currently, discoms are able to source power from other places at a cheaper cost. “The plant functions irregularly because of gas shortage. This raises the cost of power generation. Regular gas supply would bring down the costs substantially.
The Bawana power project, built at a cost of Rs 4,500 crore, could produce at least 750MW from the first cycle if it had enough gas. But it has barely managed to produce 250 MW since the first cycle was commissioned. Similarly, the proposed power plant at Bamnauli is also stuck as the government has been unable to arrange any gas for the plant, an official said.
It is not just the Bawana plant which is suffering because of the gas crisis, Tata Power’s 108MW plant in Rithala has become almost redundant because of no gas availability.
At present, the Bawana plant is in shutdown mode because of which discoms have not sought power from it yet.
Out of the six power stations that supply electricity only to Delhi, four are dependent on gas. Coal-based Indraprastha power station had shut in 2010 and another thermal station-Rajghat powerhouse-with an installed capacity of 135MW is also due to close operations soon. There are also plans to convert three out of five units at NTPC’s coal-based Badarpur power station to gas.