MHPA’s turbine 3 down for two weeks

MD says no loss in power generation

Nim Dorji | Trongsa

The Mangdechhu Hydro Power Authority officials are working round the clock to fix Unit III of the 720MW project that has been down since May 31 because of some mechanical problem.

As of yesterday, the other three units are generating around 593.36MW of the installed capacity. If all the four unit functions, each unit will be generating around Nu 8.3 million a day.

Managing director of MHPA, AK Mishra, however, claims that there is no energy loss, as the water in the dam is only enough for three of the four turbines “We are generating power from the available water and sometimes we generate overload on each unit,” he said. The other three units, he said, are generating 10 percent extra on the actual generation capacity of 180MW. “So if any loss incurs, we can make up from it,” he said. “The machine will be restored and put on the grid in the next two days.”

AK Mishra said that the power project in Bhutan is designed for 30 years, the project will not close after 30 years, so the power generated beyond that will be the surplus created and is all profit.

The loss will be possible when something happens within the lifecycle of the product or in this case the project.  He said, “So for the power project, the water volume and the machine not working is a loss is a wrong concept.”

However, a source close to the project said that if restoration prolongs, it will hamper revenue and power generation. “Each unit produces 190MW as of now, so when one unit is not functioning, it is losing 190MW a day,” he said. “The extra 10 percent MW generated by three turbines cannot compensate for the total energy lost by a turbine.”

It was learnt that on May 31, a fault developed in the stator of the turbine, Unit III, after successfully repairing the stator, another fault was detected in the router while checking all the electrical components of the generator. Two poles were taken out and repaired. 

Electro-mechanical and transmission Chief engineer Kaushik Maulik said that since the monsoon has already started they are trying to minimize the downtime by working round the clock.

Meanwhile, the project authority is expecting to hand over the project to the government on July 31. The discussion for the handing taking has been deferred by six months which according to AK Mishra was for confidence building. 

MHPA has generated around Nu 1.28B in May due to Cyclone Amphan.

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