The newly-announced thermal plants mark a departure from the norm since most thermal units belonging to the state are coal-based.

Chennai to get two new natural gas-powered thermal plants
news Power Tuesday, July 09, 2019 - 08:33

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami has announced the setting up of two new gas-based thermal plants in Chennai. The plants, intended to meet the ever-growing power needs in the state, will be created at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore. Each plant would be 730 MW in capacity.

According to the Times of India, the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) has been tasked with setting up the plants in the northern part of the city. The newly-announced thermal plants will be powered by natural gas, a departure from the norm since most thermal units belonging to the state are coal-based. The plants will be located at the premises of the old GMR power plant in Basin Bridge area, north Chennai. The previously functioning GMR units, which were decommissioned last year, were naphtha-based, a liquid hydrocarbon mixture.

One senior TANGEDCO official told the newspaper, "We will prepare a detailed project report and seek loan from power finance companies before floating tenders. It will take at least five years for the units to generate power. The fuel will be sourced through a pipeline from the Indian Oil terminal at Ennore." The GMR site is about 30 acres. That is adequate for the LNG-based units. The official continued, "Based on the Supreme Court order, we had to replace equipment in thermal units with modern ones so that fly ash does not pollute the air in the areas. There are several complaints from residents living in areas close to thermal units about fly ash pollution.”

According to The New Indian Express, new equipment will be established at a cost of Rs 3,000 crore to prevent releasing of effluent from five thermal power stations in open air as per a Supreme Court verdict. New substations, each of 230 MW capacity, will be set up at Vembakkam in Tiruvannamalai district, Nallur in Namakkal district and Nanguneri in Tirunelveli district at a total cost of Rs 510 crore.

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