With the second unit of the Talwandi Sabo power plant developing a snag, the power situation in Punjab worsened causing a shortage of over 600 MW of power.
Amid continuous instances of power outages, protests by consumers were reported at several places. Sunday’s snag also raised fears that the restrictions imposed on the industrial sector for use of power would not be rolled back. Industrial units located in the central and north zones have remained shut for three days now.
Across the state, domestic and commercial consumers, too, complained of unscheduled power cuts, ranging from two to four hours. The reason for these cuts was a leakage in the boiler tube of a 660 MW plant at Talwandi Sabo and it would take two to three days for the plant to be made operational. One other unit (660 MW) has remained shut for some time because of a snag and is expected to come back into generation only around end of this month.
Meanwhile, PSPCL shot off a penalty notice to the Talwandi Sabo thermal plant. “The PSPCL has been repeatedly directing TSPL to ensure full availability of its 3 units in the paddy season including unit no. 3 under forced outage which the TSPL has failed to do so till date whereas paddy season is in full swing," alleged A Venu Prasad, CMD.
He further said PSPCL has issued the notice to TSPL asking them to explain as to why the capacity charges should not be deducted for the entire contract year 2021-22 considering non-availability of its unit under breakdown and be penalised on account of hardship faced by the people of Punjab. The state increased buying power from the power exchange, after the transmission capacity of the state has been enhanced further by the Government of India by 400 MW, to 7800 MW.
The state’s transmission capacity was 6400 MW last year, and was increased to 7400 MW this year. The Talwandi Sabo Power Limited is the largest thermal power plant in North India set up by Vedanta Company at village Banawala, near Mansa, under private partnership, with a total capacity of 1980 MW and three units of 680 MW each. At present, the thermal power plant is supplying about 1178 MW to the North Grid.