MahaGenco explores multi-fuel operations at Uran plant

Mumbai, Feb 13 | Updated: Feb 14 2006, 05:30am hrs
MahaGenco is exploring various options of converting its gas-based 852 mw plant situated at Uran near Mumbai into multi-fuel project. This was necessitated because of the lack of availability of the contracted gas from Gail India. MahaGenco is forced to run the plant below its capacity for the want of the gas for over a decade.

Against its total capacity of 852 mw, MahaGenco is generating around 3 50 mw, thus leaving the remaining capacity of 502 mw idle. State energy minister Dilip Walse-Patil on Monday visited the plant and reviewed the situation. He asked MahaGenco officials to explore options of running the plant on naphtha and high speed diesel and furnace oil in order to maximise the generation to mitigate the demand and supply mismatch in the state.

Mr Walse-Patil also discussed the issue of expansion of 1,040 mw at the Uran plant based on gas with the total investment of Rs 3,092.55 crore. Gail India, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Gujarat State Petrochemicals Corporation have so far participated in the tendering process for the supply of necessary gas during the expansion.

The minister told FE that against the total requirement of 4.7 million cubic meters per day (mmcmd) gas at calorific value of 10,000 kilo calories per square meter cube, currently Uran plant is getting 1.9 mmcmd gas with an average calorific value of 8,530 kilo calories per square meter cube. Mr Walse-Patil said he has asked the officials to assess the possibility of laying of pipeline between Uran and Dabhol project to carry the gas.

MahaGenco officials recalled that various committee had already looked into the issue in 2001 and 2002 and had suggested that regasified liquefied natural gas (LNG) was the only alternate fuel which would be techno-economical for operation of the plant with full capacity.

These committees had observed that it would not be economical to operate the Uran plant with high speed diesel on round the clock basis. However, they were of the view that instead of making the plant to run on high speed diesel or furnace oil, MahaGenco should optimise generation from its thermal stations through the use of better quality coal.