Chief Minister of Kerala Shri. Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL)’s Arippara Hydroelectric power project on Saturday, the 06th November 2021. It is estimated that the plant will generate 14 million units of power annually.
While delivering the inaugural address Chief minister said that government is planning to implement low-cost environment-friendly power projects based on non-conventional energy sources in collaboration with local self-governments and co-operative bodies. " The government's position is that power generation should not be dependent on renewable energy sources alone. We aim to generate maximum energy from water, wind and sunlight. The previous LDF Government had initiated several measures to implement energy generation projects and they are being pursued vigorously" Vijayan said. He also said that the power plant at Arippara was landmark in the history of CIAL which runs it airport fully on solar power. CIAL’s solar power generation has caught the attention of the whole world. The hydro project was the next big leap. 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 labourers. CIAL also had to face challenges like non availability of workers during the pandemic and court litigation. Nevertheless, CIAL was able to complete the project as per schedule which was lauded by the Chief Minister.
Minister for power Shri. Krishnan Kutty presided over. Ministers and CIAL directors Shri.P.Rajeeve, Shri. K.Rajan, Minister for Tourism Shri. P.A.Mohammed Riyas, Shri.Rahul Gandhi MP, Linto Joseph MLA, CIAL Managing Director Shri. S.Suhas IAS, Executive Director Shri. Jose Thomas P, among others spoke.
The project was awarded to CIAL by the State Power Department as per the Kerala Small Hydro power policy under the Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) basis for a lease period of 30 years. CIAL has constructed a weir dam across Iruvazhinji River and hydro-mechanical and electro-mechanical systems at Arippara, near Kodencheri in Kozhikode district. The project was completed in September and trial run started in October. CIAL purchased five acres of land from 32 residents and the total project cost is Rs 52 crore. The powerhouse would generate around 1.08 lakh unit of power a day during peak flow days and is estimated that the plant could be operational in full capacity for 130 days in a year. Being a run-of of the river project, CIAL SHP works on limited storage of water causing no adverse effect on the environment, CIAL said. 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 on the right bank of the river with an installed capacity of 4.5MW.