Guddu power plant fiasco: PD, CPGCL BoD adopt different stances

Power Division and Board of Directors (BoD) of Central Power Generation Company Limited (CPGCL) are reportedly challenging each other’s stance on 747-MW Guddu Combined Cycle Plant damaged last year due to undoubted negligence, well informed sources told Business Recorder.

The inquiries conducted so far are holding M/s GE and plant’s staff responsible for the damage of billions of rupees. Power Division has also held the Board of CPGCL responsible for not taking timely action against those responsible.

Power Division wrote a letter to the Board on March 31, 2022, operating part of which states that “…regarding failure of BoD of CPGCL to get necessary and adequate inquiry conducted immediately, which has been done now after a year from the incident, the board is required to explain why it may not be replaced”.

Responding to the Power Division, Chairman CPGCL Board Syed Tahir Nawazish has stated that the Board of Directors of Central Power Generation Company Limited (GENCO) in its 38th meeting held on April 05, 2022, deliberated on the viewpoint/ conclusion reached by the Power Division and took serious note of such a conclusion by the Power Division without going into the details of post-incident events that have happened so far and the efforts of the Board to bring the unit back on track in the earliest possible time remaining within the limits of Rules & Regulations (of public sector) and, in parallel, continuing to address the findings of the Inquiry Reports.

According to Chairman CPGCL Board, to put the record straight, the Board of CPGCL is bringing to the notice of Power Division that the Inquiry Report submitted by Dr. Niaz Ahmed Memon, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) GHCL on February 21, 2022 is actually the 4th inquiry on subject of damage to GT-14 in February 2021.

Prior to that, the following inquiries have been conducted on this issue under the auspices of the BoD CPGCL and the management of GHCL: (i) The matter regarding damage of GT-14 installed at 747-MW CCPP, Guddu surfaced on February 07, 2021. The initial incident report along with Borescope Inspection Report of February 18, 2021 submitted by M/s GE was presented by CPGCL management before the BoD CPGCL in its 116th meeting held on March 04, 2021; (ii) in this regard, an Inquiry Committee was constituted by GHCL on March 5, 2021 under the convenor-ship of Sabeeh Uz Zaman Farooqui, CEO NPGCL (GENCO-1), Muzaffargarh to probe into the fault in GT-14. The Committee submitted its report on March 18, 2021 (1st inquiry); (iii) Subsequently, considering huge loss due to fault in GT-14, the BoD CPGCL in its 121 meeting held on May 27, 2021, recommended to conduct an Independent Inquiry. In this regard, the BoD framed Inquiry Committee under the convenor-ship of Dr Tabrez Aslam Shami, who is the Board member of NPGCL (GENCO-III), as well as, GHCL – the former Dean of Faculty of Electrical Engineering, UET Lahore being Subject Specialist to investigate the causes of fault in GT-14 which submitted its report on July 8, 2021 (2nd Inquiry); (iv) This Inquiry Report was discussed in the BoD CPGCL, in its 124th meeting held on July 30, 2021, wherein the Board advised the management to take necessary action and bring the report back along with necessary comments; (v) the duly adopted Dr Tabrez Aslam Shami’s Inquiry Report by the BoD CPGCL, in its 127th meeting held on September 29, 2021, was submitted to the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) on September 30, 2021; (vi) in the meantime, on the directions of the Senate Standing Committee on Power, an Inquiry Committee was also constituted by GHCL on August 16, 2021, with specific reference to the Contractual Services Agreement (CSA) between CPGCL and M/s GE, under convenor-ship of Dr. Niaz Ahmed Memon, CTO GHCL. The report duly submitted was forwarded to CPGCL on 1.10.2021. (3rd Inquiry); (vi) the BoD CPGCL, in its 130h meeting held on November 08, 2021, examined Dr. Niaz A. Memon’s Inquiry Report and noted that it was also reported in the Inquiry Report that legal and commercial areas have not been covered. Therefore, the BoD took cognizance that these are the major areas to be examined in the Service Agreement. The BoD after examining all aspects of the report resolved and directed the management to obtain opinion/ report covering all legal & commercial aspects on the Inquiry Report and stance/ comments by M/s GE on the relevant parts of the Inquiry Report pertaining to them. Accordingly, the same findings were conveyed to the Power Division on November 09, 2021 for apprising the Senate Standing Committee on Power. Moreover, GHCL on November 11, 2021 submitted Dr. Niaz A Memon’s Inquiry Report to the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) for information; and (vii) Thereafter, M/s GE was contacted on December 24, 2021 and in response, in its letter of January 6, 2022 negated the observations raised in the Inquiry Report of Dr. Niaz Ahmed Memon. In this regard, CEO CPGCL on January 10, 2022 requested GHCL to refer back to the same Inquiry Committee constituted on August 16, 2021 to consult with M/s GE with regard to observations of the Inquiry Report and submit the final report for further necessary action.

Chairman CHGCL in his letter further explained that based on the request of CEO CPGCL, GHCL on January 11, 2022 referred back the earlier report of the Inquiry Committee to Dr. Niaz Ahmed Memon, the Convener of the 3rd Inquiry Committee, with task to evaluate the response provided by M/s GE to the questions raised in its earlier report, keeping in view its contractual obligations in accordance with the CSA and further directed to submit complete report within one week positively. (4h Inquiry).

The Inquiry Committee under the convenor-ship of Dr. Niaz Ahmed Memon submitted its Report (extended version) to GHCL on February 21, 2022 which was forwarded to CPGCL on February 22, 2022 and the same was duly submitted to the Power Division on February 22, 2022.

Further, Dr. Niaz A Memon’s Inquiry Reports (earlier report and extended report) were submitted before the BoD CPGCL in its 136h meeting held on March 10, 2022. The BoD examined both the reports and noted that legal aspect is still not covered and explanation from management side has not been provided. Therefore, the BoD resolved and directed the management to present the complete report covering the legal aspect, at the earliest along with detailed explanation from management side on the CSA’s clause by-clause.

Chairman BoD maintained that the Board in its various meetings advised the management to take necessary actions in the light of inquiry reports and fix responsibility on individuals responsible for negligence/ incompetence. The management was also emphasized upon to finalize the extent of responsibility on the part of M/s GE under CSA.

“Since the priority was to rehabilitate the machine soonest, all efforts were geared towards making the machine operational,” he said adding that required actions/ developments were also discussed in detail in the 138h meeting of BoD CPGCL held on April 05, 2022. The BoD noted that 1st Inquiry was conducted immediately after the incident at GT-14 and until now four inquires (external/ independent) have been conducted by the BoD CPGCL and GHCL and which have also been deliberated upon by the BoD in various meetings. The BoD further noted that all such Inquiry Reports have duly been submitted to the Power Division.

According to the Chairman, the BoD was particularly perturbed over apprehensions of the Power Division regarding failure of BoD CPGCL to get an inquiry conducted immediately. Fearing action from the Power Division, the BoD also discussed that replacing the Board of Directors of CPGCL is undoubtedly a prerogative of the Federal Government.

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