Friday, August 26, 2011

PDC taking over Baglihar Power project

PDC taking over Baglihar’s O&M from NHPC on Sept 2  Internal arrangement to meet Engineers shortage

After remaining 'sidelined' for two years, the Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation is taking over the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of the 450 Mega Watts Baglihar Hydroelectric Project from National Hydroelectric Projects Corporation (NHPC) on September 2, 2011.

Authoritative sources told EXCELSIOR that Government has conveyed to the NHPC authorities that the two years contract for O&M of the first ever mega State-owned project, which was signed in 2009 at a cost of Rs 150 crore, will not be extended and Power Development Corporation would takeover the O&M from it on September 2, 2011.

The PDC, which had also handled Operation and Maintenance of the project before 2009, has geared itself up to shoulder the major responsibility once again despite having some shortcomings with regard to cadre of engineers, sources informed.

At present, the PDC has four Executive Engineers, 12 Assistant Engineers and 15 Junior Engineers at Baglihar and keeping in view the shifting of daunting task of O&M, it has already set in motion the process of appointing 103 Junior Engineers in Civil, Electrical and Mechanical besides some Civil Draftsman to meet the requirement of manpower at different projects particularly at Baglihar, they said while disclosing that till the time these selections are made, the PDC will make some internal arrangements by seeking engineers from Power Development Department on deputation basis.

Like NHPC, which had further outsourced maintenance part to a company having expertise in the field, the PDC has also floated tenders for engaging companies for routine and annual maintenance of the project as the same needs experts. "September 2 is the last date for receipt of tenders, which were floated on August 10, 2011", they said while disclosing that except Salal Hydroelectric Project, the NHPC has outsourced maintenance part in all its projects.

There will be two separate companies for routine and annual maintenance and they will work under the close supervision of PDC. While annual maintenance is carried out in the months of November and December every year by shutting down the units one by one, the routine maintenance is carried out in the running conditions thus is of more importance, sources said, adding only those companies will be finalized which have the experience of handling not less than 300 Mega Watts of hydro electric project.

In order to ensure smooth functioning of the project following return of O&M, the Power Development Corporation has also entered into an agreement with the M/s Voith Siemens, which had executed the electro-mechanical works of the project. As per the arrangement, two experts of the German company will be at the disposal of PDC round the clock for assistance in automated control of the project.

"No doubt the PDC is also outsourcing maintenance part like NHPC but the return of O&M would help in saving crores of rupees, which were otherwise given to the NHPC during the past two years", they said and hoped that the Government would immediately take steps to create separate cadre of engineers for PDC so that the situation like which prompted the handing over of O&M to NHPC doesn't arise again in future.

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