Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) will set up a 400MW LNG-based power plant at Brahmapuram. Board chairman M Sivasankar said the estimated cost is around Rs 3,200 crore and KSEB would fund the project on its own.
"We had to shell out Rs 7,800 crore to purchase power last year. On an average,we spend Rs 700 crore per month to purchase power. So we should not have any problem to mobilize funds for a power generation unit which will significantly ease our power shortage," he said on the sidelines of a function held to inaugurate the KSEB energy innovation zone at the start-up village in Kochi .
He said the board would move an application for environmental clearance for the Brahmapuram plant next week. "We will go ahead with a tendering process once we get the clearance. Normally, the gestation period for a gas-based plant is 22 months once actual work begins," the KSEB Chairman said, adding that the existing 106 MW diesel-based power plant would be closed down in a phased manner once the new unit is commissioned.
KSEB authorities had been mulling this idea considering the high power generation costs. Of the six units of the plant, only three are functional. KSEB had been planning to convert existing diesel plants to LNG.
"Converting the existing unit from diesel to LNG will be uneconomical. The new plant will be a single unit with 400 MW capacity," he said.
The new power plant would source 60% of the gas within the country and the rest will be imported from abroad. The cost of power is likely to be Rs 5 per unit.
He said KSEB can house a larger LNG unit - up to 1,260 MW- within the available area. Expansion plans are on hold and will depend on the future power needs.
The state is also planning to convert the 1,000 MW Kayamkulam thermal power station and set up another 500 MW unit using petcoke as fuel.
"These two units and the Brahmapuram plant would together meet the projected power requirements of the state up to 2022," he said.