In a New Year bonanza to the residents of the state, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann on Monday said that the state has created history by purchasing Goindwal power plant owned by a private company GVK Power at a cost of Rs 1080 crore.
The Chief Minister said that for the first time this reverse trend has started that the government has purchased any private power plant whereas in the past the state governments used to sell their assets to the favorite individuals at ‘throw away’ prices. He said that the 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. He said that the 540 MW power plant has been purchased at Rs 2 crore per MW. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that this is much less than other power plants whose acquisition has been made at Rs 3 crore per MW. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that will be named as Sri Guru Amardass Thermal Power plant after the third Sikh Guru.
The Chief Minister said that the available capacity of power plant was 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. He said that with this 33% (1 out of 3 PPA with private thermals) PPAs have been terminated. Bhagwant Singh Mann quipped that on January 1, 2018 units of Bathinda and Ropar thermal power plants were closed permanently but today on 1st Jan, the pro-people government has purchased a private power plant to augment power supply of the state.
The Chief Minister said that as coal from Pachwara coal mine 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.
The Chief Minister said that this purchase will help in reduction in overall Tariff by over Rs. 1 per unit adding that it will lead to Savings of Rs. 300- 350 crores on power purchase thereby benefiting the consumers of the state. He said that it 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. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that it 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.
The Chief Minister further said that 540 (2×270) MW GVK Goindwal Sahib Thermal plant, a MOU route cost plus basis project was envisaged in 1992. He said that 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. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the 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.
The Chief Minister further said that between 2016-2023, the state government had purchased 11165 million units of power by paying Rs 7902 crore. He said that ironically the GVK thermal plant was paid Rs 1718 crore fixed cost without even getting power adding that average per unit of Rs 7.08 per unit was paid to the power plants. However, Bhagwant Singh Mann said that 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.
The Chief Minister said that till December 31 all the pending arrears of the PSPCL have already been paid. He said that with the acquisition of this plant there will be three government and two private thermal plants operational in the state now. Bhagwant Singh Mann recalled that he had performed as an artist in 2009 during the event to start this project but he is fortunate that God has now chosen him to purchase this plant for the state to augment its power supply.
The Chief Minister also announced to review the PPA for the purchase of solar power in the state. He said that the state government has purchased the solar power now at Rs 2.54 paise whereas during the earlier tenures exorbitant amount of even Rs 15 was paid for same purchase. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that this will be reviewed by all means and anyone who had minted money by bringing loss to state exchequer will be brought to book.
Replying to a query, the Chief Minister said that the great martyrs including Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Rajguru, Shaheed Sukhdev, Lala Lajpat Rai, Shaheed Udham Singh, Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha, Mai Bhago, Ghadari Baabe and others cannot be kept in rejected category. He said that the union government is trying to belittle their contribution and sacrifice of these heroes by not including their tableaus in the Republic Day parade. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that this cannot be tolerated as it is the grave insult of these great patriots and national leaders.
The Chief Minister said that state BJP chief Sunil Jakhar is completely lying on the issue of tableaus as he is yet to master the art of lying as per wish of his masters. He said that Jakhar had recently joined BJP so he is yet to adapt himself in reading the scripts prepared by their high command. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that it is unfortunate that BJP leadership is thinking about tableaus without even bothering to include state in it.