- Tangedco has initiated a feasibility study to set up gas turbine power stations in north Chennai to generate 2,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity.
- The proposal to set up gas turbine stations was to make use of the natural gas pipeline infrastructure available from Ennore to Thoothukudi.
- The study is being taken up in the wake of Electricity Minister announcement in the Assembly in this regard.
- The cost of gas was high at present, the power utility proposed to set up gas-based plants as part of its plans to generate clean energy.
- It will be making use of the vacant space where the old thermal stations were housed in Ennore along with the gas pipeline infrastructure facility of Indian Oil.
- The study involves setting up small gas engine power plants of the capacity of 18 MW to 20 MW for a total capacity of 2,000 MW.
- Tangedco has appointed a consultant for the feasibility study based on which a detailed project report (DPR) would be readied.
- Even while the engineering consultant was involved in conducting the feasibility study for setting up new gas power plants, the consultant will cover the technicalities of re-engineering the Basin Bridge gas project which has remained shut due to raw material, which turned expensive.
- Tangedco, which has a gas turbine power station at Basin Bridge with a capacity of 120 MW, is planning to re-engineer the power station with Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) whereby power could be generated at a reduced variable cost.
- The Basin Bridge station has four gas turbine stations of 30 MW each with naphtha being the primary material for generating electricity.
- The senior electricity official said as the price of naphtha had been rising, the cost of power worked out to more than ₹20 per unit and so the gas stations remained shut since 2018.
- In order to restart the power stations, the feasibility study would cover the Basin Bridge project whereby the possibility of converting the fuel from naphtha to Re-gasified LNG to be used to run the plant at a low cost will be explored.
- Sources in the oil and natural gas industry said conversion of coal-fired power plants had become necessary for State governments to reduce carbon footprint and attain net zero carbon as envisaged by the Centre.
- “Many plants run by the NTPC had converted to gas-driven facilities but have remained shut due to the prohibitive cost of gas. They depend on gas produced in India.
- But when those fields ran out of gas, they remained shut. Now, with the availability of imported Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), power plants are looking at hybrid options as well.
- Although the price of CNG is high now, it is expected to come down in a few months when winter ends in Europe. It is anticipated that it will climb down from the present $20 to below $10 soon.
Gas-fired power plant
- A gas-fired power plant or gas-fired power station or natural gas power plant is a thermal power station which burns natural gas to generate electricity.
- Natural gas power stations generate almost a quarter of world electricity and a significant part of global greenhouse gas emissions and thus climate change.
- However they can provide seasonal dispatchable generation to balance variable renewable energy where hydropower or interconnectors are not available.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB