Rajiv Gandhi Combined Cycle Power Plant of the National Thermal Power Corporation in Kayamkulam is reeling under the neglect of the state government. The only thermal power plant in the state is hit by the apathy of the state government. The power generation was carried out only below 10 days in the Rs 1,200-crore invested power plant in 2016. However, the KSEB has been granting Rs 18 crore to NTPC every month as per the Power Purchase Agreement(PPA).
The Central Government is also expressed dissatisfaction over the state government’s attitude towards the Navaratna company. Union Minister of Power, Piyush Goyal, has said that the State Government should submit a proposal to the Central Government for the conversion of fuel from Naphtha to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). The minister said that the government is ready to allot fund for the development of the company, but efforts from the part of state administrators is a must.
The 350-MW power plant was commissioned at Kayamkulam in 1998 to tackle the power shortage in the state. Naphtha was the fuel and its price hike increased the unit charge of electricity. After the rate increased, the KSEB stopped purchasing power from the NPTC. As per the PPA, the KSEB has been allotting running coast to the NTPC. The new PPA will end in 2023.
After the establishment of the LNG terminal at Kochi, the plant was converted into LNG. The NTPC spent around Rs 33 crore for restructuring the company. But, the transportation of LNG from Kochi to Kayamkulam is a hurdle and the plant is lying idle.
The lack of political interest was the main reason of the idling of the plant. The former government had decided to lay a pipe line through the sea to plant, but the opposition from the fishermen delayed it. Later, the state government invited expression of interest to transport LNG to Kayamkulam through barge, but it is yet to begin.
However, the controversy related to handing over the land of NTPC to Harippad PPP model Medical College was also marred the development of the company. The NTPC management was not ready to hand over the land to the MC, but some of the ministers in the previous state ministry exerted pressure to hand over the land to MC. This also delayed the development of the project. Marcus Davenport JerseyShare This