The Duhabi multi-fuel plant at Takisinbari is likely to resume operation within three months after the ongoing repairs are completed. According to officials, the maintenance work started in January will be completed by mid-November.
Industrialists have been demanding that the electricity produced by the multi-fuel plant should be made available to them at cost price after it comes into operation. The plant used to produce 39 MW of energy and is expected to generate around 36 MW after repairs are completed.
Speaking at a meeting held at the Morang Merchant Association, the factory owners demanded that they should be provided the electricity at Rs 15 per unit during load-shedding hours. “All the participants at the meeting have agreed to talk to the government on making the power available to them without causing any loss to the government,” said Avinas Bohara, president of the association. “We will move ahead after obtaining the opinions of all the stakeholders concerned.”
Meanwhile, the government has planned to hand over the plant to the private sector on a management contract.
The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) had kept the plant idle for fear that it would have to sell the power generated at less than the production cost. The multi-fuel plant burns furnace oil and has a high production cost. The cost of production has been estimated to be Rs 28-30 per unit. Factory owners spend Rs 20-21 per unit using their generators to produce power during load-shedding hours. They pay Rs 6 per unit when there is regular supply of electricity.
The government has formed a committee under the coordination of the immediate past president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Kush Kumar Joshi to bring the multi-fuel plants based in Hetauda and Takisinbari into operation.
Likewise, a taskforce has been created under the coordination of the president of the Eastern Region Chambers of Commerce and Industry Kishor Pradhan to conduct an assessment and bring the Duhabi plant into operation. Bohara, who is also the member secretary of the taskforce, said that the taskforce had held repeated talks with the entrepreneurs.
Although the plant at Tankisinbari was scheduled to come into operation within May, problems appeared in the machinery resulting in delays, according to Santosh Jha, division chief of the plant. The multi-fuel plant consists of six turbines. The maintenance work required 7.3 million euros. The industrial units in the Morang-Sunsari corridor require 90 MW of electricity while the Eastern Region alone needs 175 MW daily. Around 60 MW is imported from India. The power goes off for five to six hours daily and for the whole day once a week.
Source : EKantipur