The 500-MW power project using petcoke to be produced by the BPCL Kochi Refinery, after the completion of the integrated refinery expansion project, has gathered momentum as the power project has found a place in the latest Kerala budget.
Though no fund was allotted to the project, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has decided to go ahead with the project. A decision about the machinery and technology to be used for the project will be taken in two months after which a report about the cost and price will be prepared.
KSEB chairman M Sivasankaran told Express that the FACT land at Ambalamugal and HMT land at Kalamasserry are the probable sites for the project.
After getting the approvals, it will take at least three years to complete the project.
Earlier, there was a controversy about who will implement the project as the Industries department and INKEL Limited have raised claims for the project. But, later Power Minister Aryadan Muhammed made it clear that it is the project of KSEB. T Balakrishnan, managing director, INKEL Limited said INKEL will support KSEB for fund mobilisation and technological assistance if required. He added that if KSEB forms a consortium for the project, INKEL is ready to join.
Petcoke is the residue left after the refining of crude has a high calorific value and is also high on sulphur. A kg petcoke produces 6,000 kilos of calorie, 150 per cent more than the same quantity of coal produces.
It is estimated that power from the petcoke-based plant will be available at a rate of `5 per unit. A preliminary feasibility study of the project has already been done. About 150 acres of land is needed for the project and the expected cost will be `5,000 crore.
“Only 300 Petcoke-based plants are operational in the world. About 3-4 machinery variants are available to produce power from petcoke. KSEB has to make a decision about machinery and technology for the project. The pricing of petcoke is another factor which has to be discussed in detail,” said M Sivasankaran.
According to a BPCL Kochi Refinery official, the integrated refinery expansion project will be completed in December 2015. “The company will be able to provide 1.4 million metric tonnes of petcoke a year after the completion of the expansion project,” he said.