Sampur coal power plant

I refer to the two articles that appeared in the Sunday Island of 3rd August and the Island of 4th August on the above subject by Ifham Nizam. As a former Chief Engineer Transmission in the C.E.B, I am fully in agreement with the views expressed by the CEB Engineers that the initial stage of installation at Sampur should have two of 300MVA generators rather than 2 of 250 MVA. One of the reasons is that a 400KV Transmission line can carry much more power than a 220 KV Transmission line while using the same conductor. It will be a sheer wastage of money, if the full capacity of a Transmission line is not utilised. Then again, as stated by the CEB Engineers, 250 MVA is not a standard size of Coal Power plant in most countries and we may be confronted with only the bids from India which will not be competitive, if we call for 250 MVA plant.

As stated in one of my earlier articles that appeared in The Island, Indian coal is very inferior compared to coal from Australia. In fact, at present India is importing coal from other countries for some of its own coal power plants. So, there is a strong possibility that it will dump some of its inferior coal at our doorstep and use imported coal for its power stations. That is why the Coal Supply Agreement should strictly stipulate the quality of coal to be used in Kilocalories per kilo of coal. I hope that the environmental authorities will ensure that low quality coal, which will increase the air pollution caused by the emission of Carbon Dioxide, Sulphur Dioxide etc. much more than high quality coal, will not be permitted and take note to warn the CEB in this regard.

Neil Perera

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