Centre allocates 400 MW as NTPC unit shuts down in Odisha

The power demand of the state has gone up by 8 pc due to an unprecedented heatwave
For representational purpose.
For representational purpose.

BHUBANESWAR: Swiftly responding to the state government’s request for allocation of 450 MW power to meet the shortage following the outage of one 800 MW unit of NTPC’s Darlipali Super Thermal Power Station (STPS) in Sundargarh district from Saturday, the Ministry of Power has allocated 200 MW each from the southern and western region pools.

At a time when the power demand of the state has gone up by eight per cent from its base load of 4,700 MW and peak requirement of 5,400 MW due to the unprecedented heatwave condition, the scheduled shutdown of one of the two units of Darlipali STPS for two months has created a shortfall of over 400 MW. The state’s entitlement from the Darlipali power project of 1600 MW (2x800 MW) is 50 per cent.

The state government sent an SOS to the Ministry of Power on Friday for the allocation of 450 MW power from the unallocated share of other states till the second unit of Darlipali STPS gets back to the grid. Dashing off a letter to the secretary, the Ministry of Power, additional chief secretary Nikunja Dhal said the overall demand and availability scenario of electricity in Odisha have changed substantially in view of various uncontrollable factors including unprecedented heat waves and low hydro reservoir levels due to late onset of monsoon.

“Outage of NTPC’s Darlipali unit stage-1 (800MW for 60 days wef 17.06.2023 for which Odisha shall be deprived of availing more than 400 MW,” the letter said. Noting that the base load requirement of the is about 4,700 MW and peak requirement is about 5,400 to 5,600 MW has risen by 8 per cent due to continuing heatwave conditions, Dhal said the state based hydro generation has been able to cater to only around 11 per cent of the average power demand due to low reservoir levels.

“The state would be heavily dependent on market purchases from June 17 where price and availability are quite uncertain. Apart from it, there is the possibility of uncontrolled/ unavoidable over-drawl of high-cost power from the grid,” the letter said. With Odisha gearing up to celebrate world famous Rath Yatra in Puri on June 20 and the festival being celebrated across the state, there will be substantial power demand during this period.

Keeping in view the hardships to be faced by the state government in maintaining uninterrupted power supply, Dhal sought immediate intervention Union Power secretary for allocation of 450 MW of round-the-clock (RTC) power to Odisha from the unallocated share of other states up to August 15, 2023 or till such time Darlipalli Unit-2 comes on par.

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