Torrent expansion gets crucial clearance

Vol 14, PW 8 (07 Oct 10) Midstream & Downstream

Ambitious industrial projects in India often sound good on paper but die a quick death when scrutinised by the environment ministry - so bosses at Torrent Power must be in high spirits.

PETROWATCH learns environment ministry approval finally arrived on September 9 (last month) for the proposed gas-fired expansion of Torrent’s Sugen power station in south Gujarat. This expansion project will see Sugen generating capacity grow from 1147.50-MW to 1530-MW, as a 382.5-MW gas-fired addition joins three other installed units.

“Environment ministry approval,” says a source, “has been given on condition that the (fourth) unit should be run using only natural gas or R-LNG and not ‘liquid fuels’.” This 382.5-MW expansion unit, he adds, will have a gas turbine, a Heat Recovery Steam Generator, a steam turbine and a generator.

Torrent has now given EPC contractor Siemens the ‘Notice to Proceed’ with the Rs1700cr ($376.6m) expansion. “The site has been handed over to Siemens,” we are told, “and ‘civil work’ has begun.

No additional land is necessary for the expansion.” Torrent will need another 1.4m cm/d gas to run the fourth unit but is in no hurry to secure this as commissioning is still three years away.

Siemens won the contract to set up the fourth unit on July 2 this year and promises to complete the project within 33 months or by July 2013. Siemens also set up and installed the three earlier Sugen units, commissioned last year (2009.

) Once the fourth unit is commissioned, it is expected to generate 2917m KwH/year, based on a 370-MW ‘net output’ at a Plant Load Factor of 90%. “We will need 10 highly skilled people to operate the unit,” says Torrent.

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