Plant Availability Factor (PAF), an indication of the efficiency, maintenance and upkeep of equipment, of the Idukki, Sabarigiri, and Kuttiyadi hydroelectric projects was affected by ‘forced outages due to improper execution of maintenance works’ during 2014-2019 resulting in a generation loss of 920.71 million units (mu) of power and additional expenditure of ₹269.77 crore towards purchase of power for the State.
This was cited in the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on public sector undertakings for the year ending March 31, 2019, laid on the table of the Assembly on Thursday. The three projects did not achieve the norm of 90% PAF during 2014-19.
The awarding of renovation works of the Idukki project got delayed by defective technical evaluation, among others. The works on three units of Idukki were to be completed by July 2019.
The report found that Unit 4 of the Sabarigiri project failed to perform in accordance with the parameters guaranteed by the contractor. This led to a generation loss of 201.60 mu and an additional expenditure of ₹59.07 crore towards purchase of power.
The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) did not follow the policy of conserving water in reservoirs with large storage capacity during monsoon and utilise it to the maximum during summer when power purchase costs are high. This led to purchase of 86.40 mu incurring ₹25.31 crore.
In the Kuttiyadi extension scheme, delay in rectifying a defect due to bifurcation of penstock led to generation loss of 178.70 mu and consequent purchase of power incurring ₹52.36 crore.
The KSEB also did not utilise the uprating potential of first stage units of the Idukki projects and of units 1, 2, 3 and 5 of Sabarigiri. This resulted in loss of generation capability of 212.04 mu per annum. The KSEB purchased 465 MW of power in design, build, finance, own and operate basis from other than lowest bidders in violation to the Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by it.