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NTPS seeks hike in natural gas allocation
Correspondent
 NAMRUP, March 18 – The Namrup Thermal Power Station (NTPS) under the APGCL, is one of the oldest base load thermal power stations in India with gas turbines using natural gas (NG) as the fuel. The NTPS was commissioned in 1965 with three gas turbine units imported from the USA. Six turbines were installed between 1965 and 1985. At present four gas turbine units are in a running condition.

Though the installed capacity of NTPS is 119.5 MW, it couldn’t generate this quantum of power owing to some constraints like scarcity of natural gas etc. But the constraints have now been overcome with the sincere efforts of all the engineers and Employees of the NTPS including its general manager. The NTPS recorded a maximum load of 115.5 MW on March 1, 2014 against the installed capacity generating 2214 MWH/ day. This increasing trend of power generation is still continuing.

Aiming at enhancing the generation capacity of NTPS by replacing the old gas and steam turbines with the most sophisticated and advanced turbines manufactured by the US-based General Electric, Model 6 FA+ e, APGCL has already implemented an ambitious 100 MW Namrup Replacement Power Project (NRPP), investing a total capital outlay of Rs 564.7 crore. The foundation stone of the same was laid by the Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi on March 1, 2009. The contract for the NRPP installation was offered to the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) in December 2008 and the commissioning of the said project was earmarked on January 2012. But there has been a delay in the installation works of NRPP and the commissioning date for open cycle commissioning (OCC) of 100 NRPP is scheduled on June 30, 2015.

It is learnt that due to the lack of required quantity of natural gas in terms of volume at sufficient pressure, the power generation of NTPS has been adversely affected. Reliable sources told this correspondent that to generate 115.5 MW or 2214 MWH/ daily, the NTPS requires almost 0.95 MW SCUMD of natural gas at a pressure of 225 Psig at its intake. But OIL India Ltd has allocated only 0.66 MMSUMD of NG to NTPS which is lower than its requirement. The allocation of increase volume of NG to NTPS by the OIL India Ltd would surely increase power generation, saving the State from power crisis to some extent.

Further, the capacity of new combined Cycle Power Project (CCPP) under NRPP is 100 MW and the fuel consumption is 0.49 MMSCUMD which is another essential natural gas requirement of NTPS. After the commissioning of CCPP under NRPP, the management is contemplating to set up another similar unit in the same premises for the second phase of 1x 100 MW generation. But the scarcity of required natural gas is proving to be a hurdle to ambitious power generation scheme of the NTPS. Sources disclosed that to run the existing and new generating units, NTPS would require at least 1.5 MMSCUMD of natural gas that would generate more than 260 MW power, boosting the State's existing power scene to a great extent.

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