Dabhol power station to add another 330-MW capacity

Vol 12, PW 1 (29 May 08) Midstream & Downstream

At the Dabhol power station itself, some 330-km south of Mumbai, Ratnagiri Gas will soon put on stream another 330-MW capacity to its present generating capacity of 950-MW.

A source confirms that “within the next few daysâ€‌ one steam turbine in the 670-MW capacity Block-I of Dabhol will be synchronised with the gas turbine that is ready for operations. “Repairs of the steam turbine were successful,â€‌ we hear.

“Dabhol is a combined cycle power station so the gas turbine alone could not have been put into operation.â€‌ On successful synchronisation, expect Block-I to start generating power latest by the end of this month (May).

Additional generating capacity is desperately needed in Maharashtra to meet peak demand, typical in these hot summer months. “By the end of May,â€‌ adds a source, “Dabhol’s generating capacity will be 1320-MW.

This will be from the fully operational Block-III and partially functioning Block I and Block II.â€‌ Block I has one more gas turbine, which is likely to be brought on stream sometime in mid-July, taking Dabhol generating capacity to about 1600-MW – close to the power station’s total capacity of 2150-MW, envisaged by promoter and bankrupt energy trader Enron.

Ratnagiri Gas is confident Dabhol can reach full capacity by October this year when the second Block-II gas turbine resumes operation. In January, one Block-II gas turbine broke down and is now in Singapore for â€کroot cause analyses’ ahead of an insurance payout settlement.

“Repairs to the gas turbine will begin only after the insurance settlement,â€‌ we hear. “Most likely repairs will be completed by September.

â€‌ Right now Dabhol is receiving up to 4.3m cm/d R-LNG through the GAIL-owned Dahej to Dabhol pipeline at the Dahej-pooled price of $5.87/mmbtu plus transmission charges - close to its total requirement of 4.5m cm/d. But this gas comes from a â€کone-off’ contract between Petronet-LNG and RasGas for 1.5m tonnes of LNG, which is available for Dabhol only till September 2009, after which Ratnagiri Gas will have to source supplies from elsewhere.