Trombay Power Station Proposed Conversion of Unit 6 to coal-fired

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In late 2012 Tata Power proposed to convert the oil and gas fired 500 megawatt Unit 6 at the Trombay Power Station to run on imported coal. The unit is a part of the 1580 megawatt (MW) plant located near Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Tata Power has submitted a draft environmental impact assessment report for the proposal with public hearings scheduled for mid-January 2013. The draft EIS was prepared for Tata Power by TATA Consulting Engineers.

Location

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Background

Tata Power proposes to convert the existing oil and gas-fired boiler to a sub-critical coal fired boiler burning "imported low sulphur, low ash coal". The company states that the cost of the project would be 1174 Crores (approx US$214 million as of January 2013).[1]

In the Executive Summary of the EIS, Tata Power argues that in 2011-12 year there was a shortfall of 1123 MW in capacity and states that Unit 6 is currently only being operated at 50% of capacity. The company states that:

"With the increase in the cost of LSHS/LSFO of desired low sulphur, the Unit #6 generation is becoming unaffordable to the consumers. Hence, Tata Power has proposed modernization of existing Unit #6 by change of fuel to use low sulphur imported coal instead of LSHS/LSFO. Unit #6 (500 MW) is operational since 1990. It is currently being operated on LSHS/LSFO and gas as and when available. LSHS/LSFO of desired low sulphur is not available locally in adequate quantity to meet the environment norms. It has to be imported at very high cost resulting in uneconomical generation cost of power from Unit #6."
"Natural gas is not available in sufficient quantity and is unlikely to be available in near future also. With the widening gap between demand and supply of power, it is necessary that existing Unit #6 should be operated at full capacity with the only alternative fuel available which is low sulphur imported coal. Thus proposed modernization of Unit # 6 with coal firing is essential to meet the demand of power at reasonable cost to consumers."[2]

The company states that coal consumption if the unit was converted would be approximately 2 million tonnes per annum.[3]

In mid-December Tata Power stated in a media release, issued by the PR firm Edelman, stated that it "sees vested interests spreading misinformation & impeding progress" but did not state exactly what it saw the "misinformation" as being.[4]

Coal supply

Coal for the existing Trombay power station is supplied from Indonesia. In March 2007 Tata Power purchased a 30% stake in two coal mines owned by Bumi Resources --PT Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC) and PT Arutmin Indonesia (Arutmin). Announcing the deal, Bumi stated that Tata Power had entered into a "long term" coal off-take agreement with KPC "for the supply of approximately 10 million tonnes per annum at index linked prices for its power plant at Trombay in India as well as for future power projects, including the recently won Ultra Mega Power Project of 4,000MW at Mundra in India."[5]

Project Details

Sponsor: Tata Power
Location: Trombay suburb, Mumbai city, Maharashtra state, India
Coordinates: 19°0'8"N, 72°53'53"E
Status: Proposed - draft environmental impact assessment report submitted in October, 2012
Nameplate capacity: 500MW
Type: Thermal
Projected in service:
Coal Source: Imported coal
Estimated annual CO2:
Source of financing:

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References

  1. Tata Power, "The Proposed Modernisation of Existing Unit # 6 (500 MW) by change of fuel at Trombay Thermal Power Station", Draft Environment Impact Assessment Report: Executive Summary, October 2012, page 2.
  2. Tata Power, "The Proposed Modernisation of Existing Unit # 6 (500 MW) by change of fuel at Trombay Thermal Power Station", Draft Environment Impact Assessment Report: Executive Summary, October 2012, pages 3-4.
  3. Tata Power, "The Proposed Modernisation of Existing Unit # 6 (500 MW) by change of fuel at Trombay Thermal Power Station", Draft Environment Impact Assessment Report: Executive Summary, October 2012, page 4.
  4. Tata Power, "Tata Power Proposes Cost Reduction for Its Mumbai Customers Through Modernization Of 500 Mw Unit # 6 at Trombay Thermal Power Station", Media Release, December 17, 2012.
  5. Bumi Resources, "Bumi Announces Sale of 30% stake in its coal companies to Tata Power", Media Release, March 30, 2007.

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