Brahma wants 5000-MW capacity Dabhol station

Vol 13, PW 11 (05 Nov 09) Midstream & Downstream

Sometime this week state-owned power producer NTPC will start putting together a preliminary feasibility report on how to increase generating capacity at the Dabhol power station.

This follows a directive from power secretary HS Brahma who wants the installed capacity of the gas-fired station, south of Mumbai, to increase from 2150-MW to at least 5000-MW. During a meeting on October 23, Brahma told Ratnagiri Gas, a joint venture between NTPC and GAIL, that increasing Dabhol’s capacity was the best way to meet the chronic electricity shortages that plague Maharashtra and western India.

“Brahma said additional land near the power station is available,â€‌ reports a source, present at the meeting. “He said water is available and that the adjacent LNG terminal’s capacity should be doubled to 5m t/y.

â€‌ Brahma also said increasing capacity at Dabhol would be cheaper than setting up a new power station. According to a source, Brahma wants Dabhol capacity to be raised - ideally - by another 3000-MW, of which 2000-MW should be added within 24 months of the proposal being approved and another 1000-MW soon after.

After the meeting, NTPC set up a team to physically survey the power station and gather data for the feasibility report, which it will present at the next Dabhol review meeting in mid-November. “We needed an actual physical survey,â€‌ says a Ratnagiri Gas source, “because (previous promoter and operator) Enron didn’t leave behind the site drawings or maps.

â€‌ Ratnagiri Gas says the cost of raising installed capacity by 3000-MW at Rs3.5cr/MW works out at Rs10,500cr ($2.3bn). Current installed capacity at Dabhol is already 2150-MW but it generates just 900-MW, as several turbines have broken down.

Turbine 2A reached Dabhol on October 21, after repairs in Singapore costing around $40m. This turbine should be installed by the third week of November, enabling Dabhol to generate 1250-MW.