Water crisis in state derails Kudgi thermal power project

Submitted by alvin on Wed, 2016-04-27 19:32 Bengaluru: The severe water crisis gripping the state has claimed another victim: the Kudgi super thermal power station.The 4000 MW supercritical thermal power project being built by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) at Kudgi village in Bijapur district is ready for commissioning but is unable to begin commercial operations due to lack of water supply.With the state facing a shortage of 2000 MW, the commissioning of the project’s first unit with a capacity of 800 MW could have alleviated the power problem to a large extent. But the ongoing water crisis has put paid to the state government’s plans.Sources in the NTPC said that as per the agreement with the state government the Kudgi project would be allocated two TMC of water. However, with the water levels in reservoirs across the state depleting fast, the promised quota of water could not be met. “We could not synchronise the project due to lack of water. If we get the promised quantity of water, the power generation will begin,” a highly placed source in NTPC told B-first.According to sources, the state government has allocated just 0.8 TMC of water, which is not sufficient for commencing commercial operations.The situation at other hydel and thermal projects also looks bleak. Sources within the power sector said that many power plants were not functioning to their full capacity due to the water crisis.History of the projectThe Kudgi power project was conceived by the previous BJP government and the construction work began in 2012. Though the NTPC had hoped to begin operations of the first unit by 2017, the project gathered pace and the first unit was to be commissioned in early 2016.This being the first supercritical thermal power station in Karnataka, the NTPC had planned the project in two stages. Three units, each with 800 MW capacity, would be added in the first phase and two units would be commissioned in the second phase.Power generated from this plant will be shared with the southern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.