Report by Kishore Dash & Deba Prasad Dash; Malkangiri : State owned Odisha Hydro Power Corporation Limited (OHPC) has invited international bidding for renovation and modernization of six of the eight units of its hydro-power generation station at Balimela after the approval of 664 crore renovation cum modernization plan by the project approval committee (PAC) of the state government recently, said Energy Department Additional secretary Sangramjit Nayak while speaking to the media persons during his visit to Balimela on Tuesday.
Following the renovation, the forty year old machineries will be replaced with new ones and the entire process will be completed in a phased manner during 54 months. Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) has given this time limit to complete the entire process. The renovation work aims at increasing the power generation capacity to achieve highest level of efficiency while adopting State-of-the-art technology, Nayak added.
Of the Rs 664 crore renovation costs of the six units, OHPC will bear 30 percent of the total cost from its own coffers. The company will borrow the rest 70 percent as loan from Rural Electrification Corporation Ltd (REC), a Government of India Enterprise, which act as a competitive, client-friendly and development-oriented organization for financing and promoting projects covering power generation, power conservation, power transmission and power distribution network in the country, he added.
During his visit to Balimela, the Additional Secretary also held hour long marathon discussion at the Power House with the Balimela Hydro-Electric Project General Manager Padmanabh Panda, the officials and employees on how to ensure the better maintance of the units. All that the Energy Department wants, the smooth maintenance of the of the units for better efficiency, Nayak informed. He was accompanied by the OHPC Ltd Director (Operation) Aswini Kumar Mishra and Director (Finance) Santosh Kumar Sahu.
The first unit of Balimela plant was commissioned in 1973. In 2009, the state government had engaged Russia based Powercon to make a residual life assessment of the six units. Later, Mecon Ltd was reportedly roped to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for renovation. After the government’s approval for the renovation of the pretty old six units, the Balimela Power House will certainly have the new machineries in place of old ones with in next four and half years.