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Technical Study: "Compendium of Best Practices in Coal Based Thermal Power Plants"

August 2013 - August 2014

1. Background

The power generation sector in India is of heterogeneous nature with power plants owned and operated by the central government, state government, independent power producers and captive power plants. The activities related to power plants are not always consistent and often not performed with the best possible effectiveness and efficiency. Lack of experience, know how as well as resources for research of each individual power producer result in an increasing gap between well performing units and less developed ones.  

This issue has been raised repeatedly during interactions with the power sector in EEC workshops and otherwise. 

The Excellence Enhancement Centre would like to pick up this request and proposes the preparation of a documentation of a power plant, according to best practises in Germany and India. This documentation will serve as a recommendation for all existing and future power plants in India, in respect of construction, operation, maintenance, and management.

2. Terms of Reference

The broad objective would be to identify and collate best practices in different areas for German and Indian coal fired power plants.

2.1 Planning and construction of a new super critical unit:

Construction of a multi-unit power plant, with supercritical technology (as future capacity addition would largely be based on super critical technology) which inter-alia would focus on:

  • Pre-planning
  • Construction methodologies (sequencing of construction steps, machineries, infrastructure, packaging of contract modules)
  • Project management (e.g. monitoring, man power requirement at various stages, timelines, fund flow, etc) 
  • Testing, safety at work, quality control
  • Commissioning practices


2.2 Operation and Maintenance procedures (separately for sub-critical 200MW and above and super critical plants)
  • Operation: Processes (e.g. start-up, load changes and shut-down, critical situations, etc),
  • Material management, fuel management, all supply chains, etc.
  • Maintenance: management, outsourcing, material fatigue, abrasion (when to change parts, what to change...)
  • Performance monitoring (parameter identification, Management Information System (MIS), etc.
  • Efficiency improvement, enhancing availability and reliability
  • Skill enhancement strategy.
3. Methodology and Structure
The process of formulating this recommendation will be subdivided into three steps, each step may require different consultants, according to the best available knowledge and experience.
EEC coordinates the processand ensures the information exchange.
Step 1:
One (or more) consultant from Germany (incl. VGB support) prepares a documentation of a representative coal fired power plant in Germany. All aspects according to the TOR shall be covered, best practices and ideal procedures incorporated.
The structure, content and extent of this essay shall be closely coordinated with EEC.
Step 2:
One (or more) consultant from India prepares an according documentation, following the structure developed by the consultant in Step 1.
Each sub-topic of the documentation may be prepared by different consultants.
For each step 1 and 2, detailed information would be obtained through questionnaire from a large number of pre-identified power plants (approx. 15-20). Then subsequent visits could be made to prioritised best operating stations to get detailed information about their practices.
Step 3:
Both documentations will be inspected closely by experts (to be constituted by EEC), in order to identify similarities, gaps and best practices. 
       Based on these findings, recommendations for power plants will be finalized, suitably modified for conditions in India.
       The recommendations will be published by EEC for members and non-members.