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No power outage, assures KSEB after fire destroys Sabarigiri generator

Seethathodu (Pathanamthitta): A fire hazard at Sabarigiri Power Station may lead to reduced power generation in Kerala. However, the Kerala State Electricity Board Limited (KSEBL) is confident that it can overcome the shortage without resorting to power cut or such restrictions.

Some generator 6 coils at the power station located at Moozhiyar in Pathanamthitta district were destroyed in a fire on Friday night. The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) shut down the generator, causing a substantial drop in internal power generation.

A shortage of 96 megawatts of electricity is expected with the shutdown of the generator. However, KSEB chairman B Ashok said there was no need to worry about the power situation in the state.

Today being Sunday, there will be less consumption. On Monday, KSEB is expected to receive 200 MW from out of state.

Only four working generators now

After Friday’s incident, the number of operational generators at Sabarigiri station fell to four.

The plant has a total of six generators. Generators 1, 2, 3 and 5 produced 55 MW of power, while units 4 and 6 produced 60 MW of power.

Unit 4 has not been operational for two years due to technical problems. With the shutdown of generator 6, there is a drop of 120 MW in the total electricity production at the plant.

Repairs to the sixth generator are expected to take a month and a half. Of the total 180 coils in the generator, only a few were gutted in the fire.

Repair work will begin soon, authorities said.

(The 340 MW Sabarigiri Hydropower Project (IHEP) is the second largest hydropower project in Kerala.)


Tragedy averted

A great tragedy was avoided thanks to the automatic shutdown of the generator immediately after the fire.

The generator had been under repair for several days and was returned to service on Friday evening. Nearly 10 minutes after it was started, the fire occurred. A few employees were standing near the generator minutes before the incident.

The generator coils had also caught fire here earlier.