After achieving the status of world’s first airport fully powered by solar energy, Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) ventures into hydro power production as its first power plant will be commissioned by Hon.Chief Minister Shri.Pinarayi Vijayan on 06th November 2021. CIAL estimates an annual power generation of 14 million units through the plant which is constructed at at Arippara near Kozhikkode. The power will be fed to KSEB grid from November first week.
The 4.5 MWp run of the river small hydro project (SHP) was awarded to CIAL by the Power Department, Government of Kerala as per the Kerala Small Hydro power policy under Built-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) for a lease period of 30 years. CIAL started the construction work of a weir across Iruvazhinji River and hydro-mechanical and electro-mechanical systems at Arippara, near Kodencheri in Kozhikode district. Even after being affected by the pandemic, CIAL completed the project in September 2021 and trial run has begun in October.
CIAL purchased five acres of land from 32 residents. The total project cost is Rs.52 Cr. The powerhouse will generate around 1.08 lakhs unit of power a day during peak flow days and it is estimated that the plant could be operational in full capacity for 130 days in a year. Annual power generation is estimated at 14 million units.
Arippara hydroelectric project by CIAL is considered as biggest project after achieving power neutrality of the Airport in 2015. “ When the country is deliberating on power crisis, it is the leadership and guidance of the Hon.Chief Minister Shri.Pinarayi Vijayan, as the Chairman of CIAL which turned out to be decisive to speed up the project implementation. We are sure that, this will impart further momentum to set up such hydro projects across the state which has 44 rivers and numerous streams “ : said Shri.S.Suhas IAS, Managing Director, CIAL.
“ ..The potential of renewable energy is immense. If we use our technological imagination, we can work on to set up joint ventures to harness the light of the Sun, the power of the wind, and the strength of rushing streams, and to be more productive and more efficient in the ways we use energy, and we can create a better future’’ : added Sri. Suhas. The involvement of Shri.V.J.Kurian, former Managing Director was another factor which helped CIAL to implement Government’s policy on energy production and management.
Run of the river project
Being a run of the river project, CIAL SHP at Arippara works on limited storage of water causing no adverse effect on the environment. The Scheme envisages the construction of an overflow type weir across the river, which diverts the water to an intake pool from where the intake structure and connected water conductor system (WCS) start. A Surge tank was constructed to moderate the water flow during load acceptance and load rejection time. A penstock feeds two machines each of 2.25 MW capacity . A powerhouse, with horizontal Turbines, is installed at the right bank of the river with an installed capacity of 4.5MW.
Being a project with the majority of civil works to be done along the river banks, the works were severely affected during the two devastating floods of 2018 & 2019. A lot of additional precautions had to be taken by modifying the designs and also by introducing additional retaining structures to ensure safe working conditions for the laborers. The Arippara SHEP is located in Iruvazhinji River. The site is lies in Nellipoyil Village near Kodencheri in Kozhikode District at a distance of 45 km from Kozhikode City.
Hon.Chief Minister Sri.Pinarayi Vijayan will dedicate the power plant to the nation at a function held via online-offline hybrid mode at 11 am on 06th November 2021.