Punjab has created new history as the Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday dedicated the Sri Guru Amar Dass Thermal Plant to the masses.The state government had scripted a new success story by purchasing Goindwal power plant earlier owned by a private company GVK Power at a cost of Rs 1080 crore.
For the first time a reverse trend was witnessed in the state as the government purchased a private power plant whereas in the past the state governments used to sell their assets to the favorite individuals at ‘throw away’ prices. This power plant is the cheapest purchase made by any state/private company as other power plants like Korba West, Jhabua Power and Lanco Amarkantak of capacity 600 MW have been purchased at Rs 1804 crore, Rs 1910 crore and Rs 1818 crore respectively.
The Punjab government has purchased this 540 MW power plant at Rs 2 crore per MW. This is much less than other power plants whose acquisition has been made at Rs 3 crore per MW. The Power plant has been renamed as Sri Guru Amardass Thermal Power plant after the third Sikh Guru.
The available capacity of power plant is 61% whereas it was used only upto 34% but now it will be run to 75-80% thereby augmenting the power generation in the state. As coal from Pachwara coal mine, allotted to Punjab, can be used only for government power plants so with purchase of this power plant this coal can be aptly utilized for producing power to provide it to every sector of the state.
This purchase will help in reduction in overall Tariff by over Rs. 1 per unit and it will lead to Savings of Rs. 300- 350 crores on power purchase thereby benefiting the consumers of the state.This power plant will also help in higher (More than Double) power generation due to availability of coal from Pachhwara Coal Mine as Plant Load Factor (PLF) is likely to go up to 75 to 80% against average Plant Load Factor (PLF) 34% so far.
The operationalisation of this plant will also open new Employment opportunities for the youth of the State of Punjab thereby making them an equal partner in the growth and prosperity of the state. Pertinently, 540 (2x270) MW GVK Goindwal Sahib Thermal plant, a MOU route cost plus basis project was envisaged in 1992. Initially, a PPA for a 500 MW plant was signed in 2000, thereafter a MOU for a 540 MW plant was signed in 2006 followed by an amended PPA for 540 MW in 2009.
This project was commissioned in 2016 but now to purchase it PSPCL along with 11 other contenders ie. Jindal Power, Adani Power, Vedanta Group, Rashmi Metaliks, Sherisha Technologies, Sai Wardha Power, Megha Engineering and Infrastructures, India Coke & Power Pvt. Ltd., RKG Fund (RKG Trust), KLu Resources and Capri Global Holdings & Pvt. Ltd submitted their applications in February 2023 after which PSPCL finally bagged it.
Between 2016-2023, the state government had purchased 11165 million units of power by paying Rs 7902 crore and an average per unit of Rs 7.08 per unit was paid to the power plants. However, estimated per unit cost after acquisition with Pachwara coal will now be Rs 4.50 per unit adding that it will save Rs 300-350 crore per annum which will be judiciously utilized for the well being of people. With the acquisition of this plant there will be three government and two private thermal plants operational in the state now.