Wednesday, August 29, 2012

NTPC Vindhyachal @ Vindhyanagar

          NTPC Vindhyachal, located in Singrauli / Sidhi district of Madhya Pradesh, is one of the biggest Thermal power plants if India. NTPC Vindhyachal, owned and operated by NTPC Limited is located on the North West bank of Rihand Reservoir (Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar) at Vindhyanagar in Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh. NTPC Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power Project is currently generating 3760 MW (210 x 6 + 500 x 2 + 500 x 2 + 500) and will be adding up 1000 MW in the next few years and will qualify as a one of the biggest power projects in India. It has currently one of the biggest switch yards in ASIA. It could be compared with the Ultra Mega Power Projects built by Reliance, Essar and Adani. Renukoot Station is about 50 Km away from project site while Shaktinagar station is 10 Km away. Varanasi is the nearest major town 220 Km away connected by Road and railway link.

The Setting sun admist a backdrop of Stage IV of VSTPP

        The 210 MW units were built initially with the help of Russian support. Thereafter the 500 MW units were built up with the help of M/s BHEL. The initial years of commissioning of 210 MW units were a learning phase for Indians and M/s BHEL, thereafter the experience helped in the further expansion of power projects indegeniously. 
          Stage 2 comprising of 800 MW x 2 was supposed to be built up with the help of Russian support, but the disintegration of USSR in the 1990's did not help the cause, thereafter the plan was scrapped and it was built up as 500 MW x 2 with the help of BHEL. 

VSTPS is accredited with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. The 210 MW units were made with Russian support. A lot of renovation and Maintenance has taken place since then. ABB made Symphony Harmony DCS is installed there. The 500 MW units are BHEL made units of which 7 and 8 had ABB made Procontrol p13 DCs and Unit 9 and 10 are having Max DNA DCS by BHEL. 

       UNIT No                    CAPACITY                 COMMISSIONED ON

       STAGE 1--built with Russian support
       Unit -1                        210 MW                       October 1987
       Unit -2                        210 MW                       July 1988
       Unit -3                        210 MW                       February 1989 
       Unit -4                        210 MW                       December 1989
       Unit -5                        210 MW                       March 1990 
       Unit -6                        210 MW                       February 1991

       STAGE 2 
       Unit -7                        500 MW                       March 1999
       Unit -8                        500 MW                       February 2000          
       STAGE 3

One of the best maintained Stages, neat and clean and looks New. 

       Unit -9                        500 MW                       July 2006
       Unit -10                      500 MW                       March 2007
Chimney construction at Stage 4 in Progress.
       STAGE 4
       Unit -11                      500 MW                       March 2013
       Unit -12                      500 MW                            2014

Chimney construction for stage 5 

The Civil construction work for Stage 5 is in full swing and is being executed by M/s L&T. Boiler and Turbine (SG and TG) packages are being supplied by M/s BHEL. M/s Yokogawa will be supplying the C&I package. The work is being executed is a very fast pace and its a good sign for the future. The boundaries of Admin block and CISF colony is being remarked to accommodate the new Power generating Unit.  

       STAGE 5
       Unit-13                       500 MW                Under Construction

Construction activity at Stage -5

Major Milestones of NTPC

-  Incorporated in 1975
-  First Plant of 200 MW Commissioned at Singrauli in 1982
-  10000 MW Installed Capacity achieved in 1990
-  Navratna Status bestowed in 1997
-  20000 MW Installed Capacity achieved in 2002
-  Construction Commenced for Hydro Power Project of Koldam in 2003
-  Year 2004: Listed in Stock Exchanges
-  Year 2004: Coal Blocks Allotted
-  Year 2005: Rechristened as 'NTPC Limited'
-  Year 2008: Gross Generation (Standalone) exceeded 200 BU's
-  30000 MW Installed Capacity achieved in 2009
-  Maharatna Status bestowed in 2010
-  Year 2011: Foray into Nuclear Power with JV formation with NPCIL
-  Year 2011: First Unit of 660 MW of Sipat Commissioned
-  Year 2012: JV in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka for Power Plant
-  Year 2012: First 800 MW Unit Awarded 

The image below depicts the layout of Vindhyachal thermal power plant and the coal mines namely Jayant, Nigahi and Kahdia. The close proximity of the coal mines reduces the transportation costs of coal and provides easy and regular supply of coal. The mines are controlled by Northern Coal Fields Limited (NCL) and are open cast in nature. Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power Project (VSTPP) is geographically located at 240 04'57.85” - 240 06'19.30” N latitude and 820 38'34.01” - 820 41'28.80” E longitude. The water requirement of the project will is met from the cooling water discharge channel of Singrauli STPP.

NTPC Township is situated beside the Plant premises and comprises of 4 colonies namely NH1, NH2, NH3 and TTS (Temporary Township). Besides there are Clubs, Swimming pools, Russian Complex (Auditorium), Schools, Open Air theater, Playground, Temples and Lake Park which provide ample facilities for the inhabitants of the township.

          Beneficiary States from the Power generated at Vindhyachal Power Plant are Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Gujrat, Goa, Daman & Diu, Dadar Nagar Haveli. Stage 5 comprising of one unit of 500 MW will be having, state of the art Flue gas Desulfurization (FGD) unit as pollution control initiative. BHEL will be providing the FGD unit in collaboration with Mitsubishi Heavy Engineering Industries Japan for manufacturing and supply of FGD system for the removal of sulphur Dioxide from flue gases.

        I will be spending a large part of my service life in this project of NTPC at Vindhyachal. Hope that i will enjoy it to the fullest, and i would like to capture the beauty of this power plant and its township. The township of NTPC Vindhyachal is named as 'Vindhyanagar'.

Vindhyachal as viewed from Shaktinagar...on a Chilly winter morning

            I did my initial training at NTPC Singrauli adjacent to Vindhyanagar for 8 months. It was one of the first power plants of NTPC built with the help of Russian support during the regime of Indira Gandhi. She as a prime minister of India took a lot of initiatives and helped India to march ahead after independence. She is also credited to start the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) in DRDO after her visit to USA, who declined to support India in developing the Indian defence forces.

On November 12, Late Smt. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India laid the foundation stone for Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power Station in Madhya Pradesh. Smt. Indira Gandhi laying the foundation of the First stage 6 x 200 MW and later addressing the gathering at VSTPP. NTPC Vindhyachal recorded the completion of Stage 1 activities by synchronizing its sixth and last 210 MW unit in February.
           I think that Smt. Indira Gandhi was one of the best prime ministers of India who took initiatives for the development of the country after independence. She initiated the IGMDP program and set up many power plants in the country in collaboration with USSR.

            Singrauli Super thermal power plant is just 5 Km away from Vindhyachal Super thermal power plant and the boundaries of the power plants are shared. The Rihand super thermal power plant is on the other bank of Rihand revervoir. This area was initially covered with dense deciduous  forest and infested with wild animals. The forests can be viewed en-route to Renukoot railway station. Shaktinagar railway station at 5 Km, Singrauli station at 25 Km and Renukoot station at 50 km are the nearest rail head points for Vindhyachal.

Smt. Indira Gandhi addressing the gathering after laying the foundation stone of  Unit 1 of Stage 1 at VSTPP

Early Days of work with Russians

NTPC Shaktinagar chimneys are visible from Vindhyanagar

Watering the reduce dust emissions
Early days of Maintenance....First Boiler Light up of Unit 1, Stage 1...a Major Milestone achieved....a Small step for the Giant Power Plant 

Working with the Russians for Stage 1 of VSTPP
         It was a co-incidence that i worked with Russians at BrahMos Aerospace and when i switched over to NTPC, here also a lot of work was done by Russians and Russian technology was used in the Power plants. 

Units of Stage 1 at VSTPS

Overhauling activities in full swing at VSTPP

Contract workers comprise a large workforce and form the backbone of the maintenance and overhauling activities at the thermal power plant. The contract workers are usually supervised by the Engineers and supervisors. Contract labor is very cheap in comparison to the salaried technicians and workmen, which enables the company to achieve low maintenance and operational costs. Although the quality of the work and finesse is affected which may be critical in the long run, since we are utilizing the power plant beyond its certified lifetime. Generally Renovation and Modernization of the thermal power plant's ageing equipment's are carried out to enhance the life time of the equipment's.


 The image below is the road leading to the entrance of the Power plant from the township. It is calm and quiet expect during the office hours (morning and evening). It is lined on both the sides with trees and lush green vegetation.

Rooftop view from Yamuna Bhavan....Gulmohar trees in full bloom
Honey bees inhabiting in the toilet chimney.  

Hues of the Spring season....2013

Due to the construction activities by L&T Power at Stage -V; the present  condition of the road is quite bad in this strech. 

Flowers strewn on the pavement....beside EDC vindhyanagar

Prabhat pheri's are organized to commemorate the Anniversary of VSTPP every year...Hope we will have lot more years to celebrate

  Although everyone is expected to come and participate in the event bust most of the people are sleeping at this time of the hour. Since it is held early in the morning most of the youngsters are sleeping and only the old ones make it to the event. After the morning walk, delicious breakfast is served at Admin building comprising of Jalebis and Idly, Dosa. 

Mushrooms and Early morning Dew
           It feels refreshing to walk early in the morning, especially during the chilly winter mornings on grass covered with Dew. I took this beautiful super macro shot on the hockey ground near stadium. The dew drops are very fine and present a fascinating image.

          I took a number of shots of Vindhyachal power plant from my hostel at Shaktinagar and from the railway tracks at MGR admist a setting sun. The images depicts the stacks of stage 1, 2 and 3.

Stacks and the setting sun

Green House gas emissions poses a great threat to our planet

Water logged stadium during Monsoons
          In spite of the green house gas emissions from the thermal power plants, the township here is green and wonderful. The lush green surroundings here is a rare treat to watch. I try to get up on rainy mornings and take a stroll around the township with my camera, since very few people venture out on rainy mornings and i can shoot the surroundings without caring for the on lookers. Normally when i am shooting, the morning walkers would gaze at me and this unsettles me a lot, sometimes i need to explain as to what i am doing.

Soaked in Water

Low angle shot.

Sunset from my rooftop....NH2 B 94

Low angle shot from the Railway tracks at MGR

In flight admist a setting sun

Treading on a floral bed
          While walking on a fresh morning one may get to see a rare sight of flowers scattered beautifully on the path, although it is not spring. One may also get to see storks in flight. capturing them in flight is a bit difficult with sharp focus and good exposure.

Storks at Vindhyanagar Lake

Birds flocking to the fields and feasting on insects which are found in abundance during monsoons.

Captured all the three stages of VSTPP 

Rihand as viewed from Vindhyachal

Misty Mornings at Vindhyanagar...near EDC

Warm Colors painted by the Early morning sun
Hostels 1,2, 3 at EDC

             Misty Vindhyanagar

         Nights are comparatively cooler after the showers, light breeze brings a soothing effect. The area near the cooling towers after a light shower is mesmerizing. The presence of water vapour in the air makes the plumes prominent after the rains, it seems as if the clouds have descended.

Cooling Towers..... 
This pic was shot at a fast shutter speed unlike the night shot, since the plumes were very prominent after the showers. Captured from 72 m of Unit 8.

Plume emanating from the stacks and Boilers of Unit 7 and 8

The streets 
         Trails left by the vehicles are prominent in this long exposure shot, captured on a clear evening. Normally there is a lot of suspended matter/ haze in the atmosphere due to stack emissions. after the rains the view is clear and sharp. 

Shot this beautiful pic at Midnight....It had rained the whole day

           Nights as viewed from my balcony are very beautiful at times. The incessant rain which lasted the whole day brought a lot of mist in the air, and it produced a beautiful sight at midnight. I caught this beautiful image using a long exposure of 15 sec and f/2.7 aperture on tripod. It was one of my best night shots. The noise in the image was also too low, and i used low ISO setting to achieve maximum contrast and switched off the Image stabilization.

Misty Evenings

             Yamuna Bhavan

Early morning Sun at Yamuna Bhavan...2013 Spring

           Initially after staying for seven months at EDC hostel we were put up at Yamuna bhavan for an indefinite period. The environment here was contrastingly different from what we had enjoyed at EDC hostel, but i would also like to say that the stay at Shaktinagar Hostel was one of the best and memorable one. The rooms were small but we got the facilities of AC and TV in the rooms. The food at ICH was not so good so we stuck to the Mess at EDC.

Yamuna Bhavan

Spring 2013.....warmth of the sun

vivid colors

Parking lot.....babies lined up 

Spring in full bloom

Incessant cutting of Eucalyptus trees in front of Vindhya Club.

Mother nature punished the culprits who had cut so many trees
The truck carrying wooden logs turned turtle at the corner, since the lid covering the storm water drain gave way and was not able to sustain the weight of the overloaded truck. The large cache of timber spilled over and the forest officials had a tough time recollecting them. Trees help in maintaining cool temperature inside the township and supports the ecosystem.

Cars like these are found abandoned in a derelict state in most of NTPC Townships. The most were found in Korba, which i visited during Simulator Training. Here too one may find one or two Premier Padmini cars lying at the Parking lot. Although they are immobile they earn a monthly bounty for their owners.

NH2 township streets...calm and serene

Road beside DPS Vindhyanagar...lined by trees

Stacks of Stage 1 and 2 are visible while the boilers of Stage 4 are in the foreground. The setting sun depicts out a beautiful picture.

A familiar sculpture at the premises of Power plants

Highlights of Vindhyachal Thermal Power Plant
  1. Station has achieved highest PLF of 96.60 % in FY 09-10
  2. Station has achieved highest Availability Factor of 94.47 %.In FY 10-11
  3. Stage # I has achieved highest Loading Factor of 102.83 %.In FY 09-10
  4. Stage-II has achieved highest PLF of 95.69%In FY 09-10
  5. Stage # II has achieved highest Loading Factor of 102.50 %.In FY 09-10
  6. Stage # III has achieved highest PLF of 97.52 %In FY 09-10
  7. Stage # III has achieved ever highest Loading Factor of 103.03 %.In FY 09-10
  8. Station has received QCI - DL Shah National award for APC reduction in Stage-I Units
  9. Station received QCI-DL Shah National Commendation award for boiler performance optimization in Stage-II
  10. Station has received IPMA Award (Silver Medal) for Stage-III Project Management.

Presently Vindhyachal is generating the maximum amount of Power among all the Power plants of NTPC, due to its large capacity; and it will be able to maintain this in future merely due to the excellent maintenance and operational skill of its engineers. Although Stage 1; comprising of six units of 210 MW each, is on the verge of completion of 25 years; it is generating power seamlessly an with a high plant load factor and high availability factory. Water, Fuel supply, Ash disposal and stack emissions are the challenges which Vindhyachal needs to address in the future to keep its current stature and position intact in future. Hope we will reduce green house gas emissions and increase capacity with renewable sources of energy which will enable us to maintain ecological balance on this planet earth.

Managing such a large and diversified power plant is quite a steep challenge in itself. But with innovation driven culture, VSTPP transformed itself into is one of the leading torch bearers of quality initiatives in Indian power sector. VSTPP created record by winning quality council of India DL shah national award for economics of quality for 5 projects for 4 straight years.

Train runs at MGR......Lifeline of Thermal Power plant
I roam around in the streets of Vindhyanagar on my Honda Activa
It rained the whole day due to the effect of Cyclone 'Nilam', and the weather was pleasant. In the evening mist descended, street lights blurred by the mist, and my ACTIVA made a beautiful silhouette.

Lake Park

Panoramic view of all the stages....and Lush green surroundings

Independence Day being Celebrated at Vindhyanagar

Leaders of tomorrow

Sharad Mela

CSR Activities by NTPC vindhyachal

CSR activities aimed at developing the communities residing in the vicinity of the power plant; helps in achieving inclusive development of all the stakeholders. It includes providing different kinds of training so that they can use their skills to earn a living and distributing essential commodities like blankets, stationaty materials, sewing machines, cycles, solar lanterns etc and providing emergency relief in needful times. This helps the livelihood of the Project affected persons and helps then lead a descent life. The members of the HR department with Suhasini sangh help in the execution of CSR activities

Cultural program by School Children

Deepawali 2013 at Vindhyanagar

Floating Candles...Deepawali 2012

Jhinga Jharia, located at a distance of 60 Km from NTPC Vindhyachal is a popular picnic spot. It is located in a National park near Mada caves with a small stream cutting through the forest. The sand banks along the river can be utilized for sports, the river is not very deep during the winter months.

Other NTPC Stations: 

      The other NTPC Projects under Western Region -2 Category are Sipat 660 MW x 3 + 500 MW x 2 and Korba 200 MW x 3 + 500 MW x 4 . Of all the stations under western Region -2, Vindhyachal is the largest and biggest.

Korba Super Thermal Power plant
Ramagundam Super Thermal Power plant

NTPC Simhadri

My Sir at BrahMos flanked by Anshul and me