Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today said that it was not practical to shift NTPC’s sick naphtha-run power plant to Brahmapuram and speedy steps should be taken to convert it to LNG to make it viable.
The chief minister was replying to a submission by Opposition Leader, Ramesh Chennithala, on the need to breathe new life into NTPC’s 360 mw plant at Kayamkulam.
Chennithala said the plant was non-operational for long, causing a huge loss. “There is a need to protect the plant and it should not be allowed a slow death.”
Vijayan said non-availability of LNG was the main problem with regard to the plant and steps are needed to be taken to lay the pipeline from Kochi to Kayamkulam as soon as possible.
“We should take steps to bring LNG from Kochi (terminal) to Kayamkulam. The relocation of the plant is not practical,” Vijayan said.
State’s Power Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the government was not aware if any decision had been taken by NTPC to shift the plant to Brahmapuram in Ernakulam district.
Though there was no production from the plant, KSEB was forced to pay a fixed charge of Rs 18 crore every month, as per the power purchase agreement, he said.
“We requested the Centre to provide LNG at a lower rate. We also requested for time to meet Union Power Minister to express the state’s demands,” he said.
Chennithala said though the plant was initially envisaged to run on coal, it was later shifted to naphtha.
However, using naphtha was expensive and to make it viable, it should be converted to LNG, he said, adding there should be coordinated efforts to preserve the plant.
The Rajiv Gandhi Combined Cycle Power Plant (also known as Rajiv Gandhi CCPP Kayamkulam) was fuelled by imported and indigenous naphtha.
Kerala is the major beneficiary of the plant, which has been facing problem due to higher power cost.