Likely to issue new norms on ?life-cycle cost? of imported gear for future orders
Debilitating technical snags at two new power stations equipped with Chinese gear in Haryana, which has forced the station operator ? state-owned Haryana Power Generation Corp (HPGCL) ? to ship the rotor of one of the units all the way to China for repair, has the Centre worried.
At a time when equipment contracts for well over 40,000 MW of upcoming power capacity have already been placed with Chinese vendors, the central government is likely to issue an advisory that future orders should be awarded only after factoring in life-cycle costs of imported Chinese equipment, and not merely upfront costs.
?The over-reliance on Chinese equipment vendors, without access to adequate and rightly-priced spares, as none of them have a manufacturing base in India, could create a serious crisis for the power sector. The Haryana experience bears this out,? a government official involved in the exercise said.
The two plants that are down, sparking widespread outages across the state, are HPGCL?s Yamunanagar and Khedar stations. Both the 300 MW units of the Yamunanagar thermal station are shut since early April, while one 600 MW unit of the Khedar unit is shut since April end, causing a sudden shortfall of over 1,000 MW in the state. From the Khedar unit, where a turbine blade was found to be damaged as apparently a ?sealing strip? inside the turbine broke loose and hit the blades, denting about 100 blades, a rotor has now been shipped to equipment vendor Shanghai Electric Company?s facility in China as the firm does not have a service facility in India.
In case of Yamunanagar, both units are under forced shut downs after reported turbine failures. With the rotor of the first turbine unit ? again supplied by Shanghai Electric ? failing, a desperate HPGCL had to send it across for repair to the Siemens? facility in Baroda. Delivery is expected only by November. The turbine blades of the second unit are also reported to be damaged.
A HPGCL official admitted that units of both the projects were facing ?forced outages?, but did not offer details. A Haryana government official said a department inquiry has been ordered into the Yamunanagar incident, which confirmed deficiencies in the design and construction of the equipment.
On a cumulative basis, equipment contracts for well over 40,000 MW of upcoming power capacity are estimated to have been placed with Chinese vendors such as state-owned Dongfang Electric Corporation, Shanghai Electric, Sichuan Machinery and Equipment and Shandong Electric Power Construction Corporation, none of which have a manufacturing base in the country.