No delay in 2100-MW power project, says Pandian

Vol 13, PW 13 (03 Dec 09) Midstream & Downstream

GSPC claims its proposed 2100-MW Pipavav gas-fired combined cycle power project is on track, despite a major setback in August when a 350-MW turbine was irreparably damaged.

In our August 13 issue, we reported how the truck carrying a 350-MW gas-fired turbine intended for the Pipavav power station crashed into the Shetrunji River, when a bridge gave way. We now learn this turbine is still lying in eight feet of water, and has been written off thanks to the damages it suffered when it tumbled 15 metres into the river.

Despite this bad news, Gujarat energy secretary DJ Pandian tells PETROWATCH the first (700-MW) phase of the Pipavav power project will not suffer delay, and that a replacement 350-MW turbine manufactured and shipped by US-based General Electric will be installed on site and ready by September 2010. This replacement turbine is scheduled to arrive at Mundra port in January 2010, we hear.

It will then be loaded onto a barge and transported the rest of the way to Pipavav by sea. “I fail to understand,â€‌ says Pandian, “why the EPC contractor (Bharat Heavy Electricals) took a risk and transported the turbine by road in the first place.

â€‌ But he adds that the project will not be delayed, as the turbine that crashed had actually arrived six months ahead of its scheduled installation date in February 2010. Meanwhile, we hear from local government sources that it is very difficult to salvage the turbine from the Shetrunji River.

Clearing and forwarding agents JM Baxi & Company, that arranged the turbine’s transportation, have been fined Rs8.5cr ($1.67m) by the National Highway Authorities for damaging the bridge. This Pipavav power project is being set up by GSPC Pipavav Power Company (GPPC), a special purpose JV between GSPC and Gujarat Power Corporation (GPCL), created in February 2006.

When completed, it will be one of India’s largest gas-fired combined cycle power plants.