RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM: The state government has given its nod for the expansion of Pollur (Lower Sileru) Hydroelectric Power Plant at Rs 510 crore. After the two new units begin functioning, the power generation capacity of the entire Sileru complex will reach 1,135 MW. Chief engineer of the Pollur project M Gowripathi said the AP GENCO will soon be inviting tenders for the construction works, which are likely to be completed in one-and-a-half years from the time they start.
“The state government has accorded permission for the establishment of two additional units of 115 MW capacity each. The four existing units, which began operations in 1978, can generate 460 MW of power,” he noted.The Lower Sileru project area is situated at a distance of 150 km from Rajamahendravaram. There are four hydel power projects in the complex. While the Donkarai and Pollar projects come under Chintur mandal of East Godavari, the Machhakund project is located in Andhra-Orissa border and Upper Sileru falls in Visakhapatnam district.
The source of water for the four projects, which are said to be the lifeline of APGENCO, is the Balimela Reservoir, located in Andhra-Orissa border. The power generated is supplied to APTRANSCO susbstations in Bommuru and Donkarai of East Godavari, and Pendurthi in Vizag. Commenting on the development, Rajamahendravram MP Margani Bharat said the long-cherished dream of people of the state has finally come true with the chief minister giving nod for the two new hydro power stations at Lower Sileru. “At Sileru, water is available for 365 days, and hydel power generation and supply is cheaper than thermal or gas based power production,” he observed.