Fire at Vizag Steel Plant guts power plant machinery, no casualties

Fire broke out in the power plant of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited, a central government undertaking, at Paravada on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam in Andhra in the early hours of Thursday.

There were no casualties nor were there any injuries to any workers. According to unconfirmed reports, some employees said there was a huge loss to the machinery in the power plant running into a few crore rupees.

According to D Durgaprasad, assistant general manager and an official spokesman of the VSP, fire was reported in the power plant-2 of the steel plant at around 4.45 am, apparently due to leakage of oil from the lubrication system.

“Fire services from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) were called and fire was brought under control immediately. The damage is being assessed to bring back the PP-2 at the earliest,” he said.

The spokesman said there were no injuries to any person in the mishap and steel plant’s production was also not affected.

There are two captive thermal power plants near the main entrance of the steel plant – one generating 243 MW and another 120 MW. “The fire mishap occurred in the 120 MW power plant due to leakage of lubricant in the oil pump, resulting in burning of the entire power generating turbine,” an official of the VSP said on condition of anonymity.

While there is no immediate threat to the steel plant due to the functioning of the power plant-1, the authorities have to purchase power from outside till the burnt power plant is restored in order to see that the production in the steel plant is not affected.

“The cables connecting the affected power plant with the main grid have been segregated, so that the power supply from the other plant continues uninterruptedly,” the official said. He also said that an internal probe has started to ascertain the exact cause of the fire.

On July 13, fire broke out in Visakha Solvents Limited, a chemical plant which recovers waste solvents from pharmaceutical units, located at Ramky Pharma City, close to Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.

The mishap led to an explosion of a reactor in the plant leading to the death of one person and injuries to three others.

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