‘Chinese hurdle’: KSEB looks at other options
Fed up with delays, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) is looking at other options to get past the ‘Chinese hurdle’ and install the power plant machinery for the 60 MW Pallivasal Extension Scheme in Idukki district.
The KSEB has now invited bids from firms experienced in installing the electromechanical and hydromechanical equipment which were originally supplied by M/s Dongfang Electric Corporation (DEC), Chengdu, China. If things pan out, the much-delayed scheme should be ready for commissioning in one to one-and-a-half year’s time, a KSEB official said.
Following the India-China clash in the Galwan Valley, the Centre had remained noncommittal on the KSEB’s request to use the Chinese firm’s services for installing the machinery. “We had taken up the matter repeatedly with the Department of Promotion of Industries and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Government of India, but they have neither given the approval nor said a ‘no.’ So we are now looking at firms other than the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for erecting the machinery,” an official in the power generation wing of the KSEB said.
As per the tender floated by the KSEB, bidders “from a country which shares a land border with lndia” will be eligible to participate in the bid only if they are registered with the DPIIT.
According to KSEB officials, once the work is awarded, the installation of the machinery and tests are expected to be completed and the scheme ready for commissioning in a year.
Designed to have two 30 MW generating units, the 60 MW Pallivasal Extension Scheme (153.9 million units) was originally scheduled for commissioning in March, 2011. The machinery, in fact, had reached Kerala more than six years ago, but problems related to land acquisition, geology and technical issues had caused delays at the time.
Subsequently, the KSEB had set December 2021 as the new deadline for commissioning the scheme. However, following the Galwan Valley incident in June 2020, the Centre had imposed stringent regulations on the procurement of equipment and services from China.