Officials baffled at Srisailam hydroelectric power station fire
Plant has several inbuilt protection features
The major fire accident at the Srisailam left bank hydroelectric power station resulting in loss of lives has baffled power officials.
Senior officials said the power station, set up with a loan of around ₹600 crore from the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation, had several inbuilt protection features. “There are arrangements that will shut down the systems even if a minor fire is detected. The overall project has been designed in such a way that it can be controlled even from a location outside the project if need be,” a senior official of the erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh government associated with the project said.
The project is fitted with generators and control systems developed by Mitsubishi Corp and Turbines and Gas Insulated Switchgear manufactured by Hitachi. It is equipped with emergency lighting systems operated through UPS in times of emergency, but there is still no clarity as to whether the lighting was on after the fire broke out. “Nobody is able to understand the reason for the fire. Reports that there was fire in more than one place is technically not possible given the design of the project, which has been prepared keeping in mind scope for such eventualities,” the official said.
Also, there are exits at three places that can be used during emergencies, and a route for movement of vehicles at the lower level and another exit with low gradient of about 800 metres as an emergency exit.
Also, there is an inclined tunnel, and a third gate with steeper gradient and adequate ventilation that can be utilised as emergency exit by the staff, the official said.