Power sector makes humongous stride in Isles: Lt Governor commissions 10 MW DG Power Plant at Bambooflat: 50 MW LNG based Power Plant to be setup at Port Blair

Port Blair, Oct 26: The Lt. Governor, A&N Islands, Admiral DK Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM (Retd) commissioned the 10 MW DG Power Plant established at Bambooflat, South Andaman today. At a function organised at the Plant site at Bambooflat this morning, the Lt Governor unveiled the plaque marking the commissioning of the Plant. The Member of Parliament, Shri Bishnu Pada Ray, Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Shri Chetan B Sanghi, Principal Secretary, (Power), Shri KR Meena, Adhyaksh, Zila Parishad, South Andaman, Shri Sanjib Kumar Mandal, PBMC Councillors, Senior officers of the NTPC Vidhyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd. (NVVN), and a good gathering of residents of Bambooflat area were present on this occasion. The Power Plant inaugurated today will deliver 10 MW to the 33 KV Grid of Electricity Department, A&N Administration continuously for the next 3 years. The Plant has come-up due to the concerted efforts made by the A&N Administration with Ministry of Power, Govt. of India and has been established by the NTPC Vidhyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd. through M/s Express Genset Consortium Ltd.

Addressing the gathering after inaugurating the plant, the Lt. Governor expressed happiness to be a part of this historic occasion of the commissioning of 10 MW Power Plant at Bambooflat today. He said, the commissioning of this 10 MW Power Plant today is significant and historic as with this, for the first time in the history of A&N Islands, the Power Sector has crossed the mark of installed capacity of 116 MW. Remarking that this milestone has been achieved after facing many challenges, the Lt. Governor spoke about the power crisis and frequent load sheddings faced by the Islanders last year. He informed that in order to overcome the situation, the Administration took some concrete decisions for restoring power in the Isles, keeping in mind the critical situations that prevailed. A meeting was convened by the Power Minister in January, 2018 exclusively to assess and resolve the power situation of A&N Islands, in which the Lt. Governor, besides officials from Power Department, Ministry of Power, MNRE, NTPC, NLC were present during which the short term and long term decisions for power sector of A&N Islands were taken, he said adding that the result of that meeting can be seen in the commissioning of 10 MW Power Plant here today. However, the Lt Governor said, there is a lot to be done in this sector. The Lt Governor said that to further strengthen the Power Sector in these Isles, the 25 MW solar power projects at Manglutan and Chidiyatapu have also been put into fast track mode. The entire credit for this goes to the Chief Secretary and the Electricity Department, he said, adding that the hurdle of last funding of the project of Rs 48 crore will be resolved soon and both these projects will be brought in the operational stage. Apart from these two projects, the Administration is planning to produce 56MW Power, Island wise, from renewable, green and non polluting power plants. Our Islands’ peak demand is 60 MW and the Administration will make best efforts to meet the demand by bringing clean, green and renewable energy components. “Our endeavour is to slowly switch over from diesel based power generation to power generation by using renewable source of energy”, the Lt. Governor added. The Lt. Governor lauded and congratulated the Chief Secretary and Power Department for signing of the Agreement for setting up of 50 MW LNG based Power Plant at Hope Town. The 20MW Solar Power Plant to be set up at Attam Pahar has also been brought into fast track mode and efforts are on to launch both the projects during the event to be held on December 30, 2018, he said.

The Lt Governor further said that the Administration shall make installation of solar roof top panels with battery backup mandatory in all the new constructions, for which the bye-laws of the PBMC has also been amended. Every residence should be equipped with solar roof top panels which will be provided through subsidy and the owner need not pay for the expenditure, the Lt Governor added. He asked the Chief Secretary to formulize the Solar Roof Top Scheme so that every resident should feel his stake in contributing towards clean and green energy in the Isles.

While speaking on this occasion, the Member of Parliament, Shri Bishnu Pada Ray hailed the Lt. Governor and the entire team of A&N Administration for their special efforts in resolving the power issue, especially in South Andaman area, in a very short span of time. He said, with the setting up of the two power plants of 5MW and 10MW, the power generation has become surplus in South Andaman area.

Shri Ray informed that due to the initiatives of the Govt. of India and the A&N Administration, the wages of DRMs have been increased and now they are getting increased pay, DA and EPF. He further said that the mazdoors of Electricity Department who were terminated in the year 1997 have been reinstated and regularized.

The MP further stated that the Solar Power projects in the Isles are back on track. With the setting up of the LNG based power plant, the cost of power will come down and this project will help in starting the CNG based vehicles in A&N Islands. He also urged the Lt. Governor for creation of the post of Chief Engineer in the Electricity Department.

In his address, the Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Shri Chetan B. Sanghi said, it is an important occasion as the strategic roadmap of the power sector in A&N Islands is all set to take a new turn with the signing of the Power Purchase Agreement between the A&N Administration and NTPC today. This, he said, could only be possible due to the fervent efforts of the Lt. Governor in pursuing the matter with the Power Ministry to resolve the power crisis in the A&N Islands. The Chief Secretary also thanked the Member of Parliament for bringing to the fore the various requirements of the citizens. He also mentioned about the upcoming NLC Power Plant Project which is likely to be inaugurated during the events to be held in the Islands on Dec 30. He further said, the signing of LNG agreement has many spinoffs; and through this, supplying piped domestic gas would also be possible here in Isles. He further stated that the launch of electric vehicles in the Isles besides the Attam Pahad Solar Power Project by NLC will bring about a major change in the energy management outlook in these strategically important Islands. The Chief Secretary also elaborated on the plan for formulating new policy of solar rooftop power generation, wherein excess power produced will be purchased from those who have installed solar roof top panels in their houses and efforts will be made to turn them into prosumers.

Earlier, welcoming the gathering, the Principal Secretary Power, Shri K. R Meena described the occasion as special one as on this day 10MW Power plant has been inaugurated and further an agreement has been signed between A&N Administration and NTPC for setting up of a 50MW LNG based Power Plant at Hope Town. He said, following the closure of SPCL, the Lt. Governor took special initiative and got immediate sanction of some short term and long term power projects for A&N Islands from the Power Ministry. The commissioning of the 5MW Power Plant at Chatham Island on April 1, 2018 and 10MW at Bambooflat today comes under the immediate and short term arrangements while the setting up of the 50MW LNG based Power Plant at Hope Town and Solar Power Plants at Attam Pahar, Manglutan, Chidiyatapu and Dollygunj are some of the long term clean and green energy power projects, to be established soon, the Principal Secretary added.

In his address, the Executive Director, NTPC, Shri RS Rathee congratulated the A&N Administration for initiating a commendable step towards realizing the Prime Minister’s dream of 24×7 power supply for all. The Administration’s emphasis on solar power plant out of which the 45 MW power plant is likely to come up shortly along with a scheme for installation of rooftop solar panels with provision for net metering will vastly reduce the dependence on diesel generation; and NTPC is supporting the effort of A&N Administration in this direction, he said. NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam has taken up the timely commissioning of 15 MW DG plants in the Isles, which has not only helped in mitigating the power crisis but will act as a base load generating source adding to the reliability of the system. For this, the NTPC will be establishing a 50 MW dual fuel power based gas Power Station which will help in providing a sustainable long term solution to the power requirements of the Islands, added the Director. Shri Rathee also congratulated the A&N Administration for transforming the energy outlook of these strategically located Islands and assured the cooperation of NTPC in its entire endeavour.

The programme culminated with the vote of thanks proposed by Secretary (Power), A&N Administration, Shri Ajay Kumar Gupta.

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