GSPC attacks BHEL for shoddy Pipavav work

Vol 15, PW 16 (23 Feb 12) Midstream & Downstream

Mumbai-based Swan Energy’s decision to pull out of the under-construction 2100-MW gas-fired power station project at Pipavav is the least of GSPC’s concerns.

More worrying is the snail’s pace progress of Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL), the state-owned EPC contractor. Tapan Ray, MD of project promoter GSPC, this month angrily accused BHEL of delaying the Pipavav project by 16 months.

“Because of the delay the viability of the gas-based power project has been thrown into question,” Ray writes to BHEL boss BP Rao. “Please ensure there are no more ‘slippages’.

Any further delay in commissioning Pipavav will increase costs and raise power tariffs.” Ray also slams BHEL for not deploying enough mechanical and commissioning engineers to the project site.

“An additional 170 people are immediately needed for Unit I and II,” he writes. “This must be considered on a priority basis to meet the ‘gas turbine’s 3000-rpm target to begin ‘combined cycle operation’ by March 2012.

” Under Phase-I the GSPC Pipavav Power Company is setting up two 351-MW gas-fired units at Kovaya village in Gujarat’s Amreli district. BHEL boss Rao visited the site in August 2 last year with an assurance the first unit could be commissioned by November and GSPC could take charge of a fully operational Unit-I by December.

Sadly, neither promise was kept, nor does it look like Unit-II will be ready by March. Ray further criticises Rao about the slow progress of BHEL sub contractors Indwel, UB Engineering, Sigma and Chemin.

“They haven’t mobilised enough manpower to set up Unit-I or Unit-II,” he complains. “Indwel has sent hardly any workers to the site.

” He further blames Sigma and Chemin for holding up electrical and C&I (control and instrumentation) installation work.

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