Odisha to renovate hydro projects

Bhubaneswar, Oct 13 (IANS) With Odisha facing acute power shortage resulting in power cuts, the state government on Tuesday decided to renovate the hydropower projects with an investment of around Rs.888 crore.

A meeting headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday decided to renovate two units of Hirakud, one unit of Chipilima and six units of Balimela hydropower projects.

Energy secretary Suresh Mohapatra said the state government has decided to go for complete renovation of two units of Hirakud project with an investment of Rs.158 crore to increase the power capacity from the present 75 MW (2X37.5 MW) to 86 MW (2X43 MW).

Work order for the two units of Hirakud power projects, which were built during 1960s, have already been granted as the units need to be renovated to increase the power generation. The renovation process would be completed in two and s half year, he added.

Similarly, the government has decided to renovate one unit of Chipilima hydro power project at an investment of Rs 65.76 crore.

The government will also renovate six units of Balimela project with an investment of Rs.664 crore.

Sources said the life-span of a hydro electric project is 30 years.

Though the first two units of the Balimela hydro project were installed in 1973-74, the remaining six units were installed in 1977.

The machines were installed 36 years ago, and they need immediate replacement. Instead of part-repairs, the state would go in for a complete renovation, said an energy official.

With the renovation process, the Balimela hydro electric project would be able to generate more 150 million units of power against the present capacity of 1,150 million units, said the official.

It is to be noted that the state government had decided to renovate the three hydropower projects in 2013. But, the proposal gathered dust in the state secretariat shelves years together to the utter chagrin of the opposition.

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