Rajghat plant gets lifeline

Was staring at permanent closure due to low efficiency

 The ageing 130 MW Rajghat Power Plant which was staring at a permanent closure this month due to very low efficiency, has now got a lifeline.

The power plant on the banks of the Yamuna, whose efficiency has dipped over the years, may now be allowed to function for another two years, said an official.

“The reverse decision to close the power plant was taken after the crucial role it played in serving the city during the May 30 storm and subsequent blackouts,” said the power department official.

The 135 MW power plant’s two 67.5 MW units manage to generate only about 80-90 MW power. But for generating 80-90 MW power, the Delhi government incurs expenditure equal to what it would be for generating the full 135 MW power.

A senior functionary in the office of the Delhi government’s Power Secretary confirmed the fresh lease of life for the power unit.

“The plant is critical for shouldering the burden of the city’s ever growing power demand. We are not going to let it close down, at least, for the next two years,” he said.

The Rajghat thermal power plant was commissioned in 1989-90, said a Transco official.

“Over the years the plant’s turbines have lost the capacity to deliver full power. As age is weighing down on the efficiency of the plant, it may not last for more than a couple of years,” he said.

The Rajghat plant sells power to the two BSES companies – Rajdhani and Yamuna, Tata Power, New Delhi Municipal Council and some defence establishments.Due to the high cost of power generated in the plant, the private distribution companies have been unwilling to buy electricity from it, said sources in the power department.

Officials said since 2005 there has been a drop in the power generation capacity of the plant. 

The Delhi Cabinet in the Sheila Dikshit government had approved a proposal in 2011-12 to shut down the uneconomical plant for ever.

Over the past two years, the modalities to close down the plant were being worked out and several extensions were given to the plant. The last deadline to shut it down was in August.

An official said despite the government’s decision to shut it down, a suggestion from some central government experts was later accepted to keep it running for some more time.

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