Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004

About Us
Contact Us
News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Classifieds | Employment |

Kerala Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Several constraints for KSEB in lifting load-shedding

By P. Venugopal

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, JUNE 7. Despite the early onset of the monsoon, these are early days for lifting load-shedding in the State, considering the techno-economic factors and water management compulsions of the KSEB, according to the chairman of the KSEB, T. M. Manoharan.

When contacted for his views on the pressure building up on the Government for lifting the existing 30-minute load-shedding, he said the early onset of the monsoon was no guarantee for an above normal monsoon. Stepping up the hydel generation beyond a point simply because the reservoir levels at present are better than that during the same period in the last couple of years is, therefore, not intelligent water management.

"We have to preserve the inflow we receive during the monsoon for use round the year as a backup for meeting the peak hour extra demand every day," he added.

The KSEB, because of the storage limitations of smaller hydel reservoirs, has to perforce increase the generation of power at its hydel stations during the rainy days to a certain level to prevent wasting the inflow that might otherwise overflow the dams. This is being done now. The average daily generation of power at the hydel stations during the past few days has been increased to around 16 million units from the level of 11 million units in April.

It may seem that this situation affords a temporary advantage for the KSEB, because, if the thermal power available for purchase is also utilised to the required level, the peak hour demand can be fully satisfied now. However, if the KSEB does not exercise caution here, the total amount it might have to spend on purchasing power during the entire year will surely exceed the budgeted amount. The crux of the problem is that each unit of thermal power purchased by the KSEB costs far more than the average amount that can be realised from tariffs.

"It has to be remembered that we are now being closely monitored by the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC). We have submitted our Aggregate Revenue Requirement (ARR) for the year to the SERC based on the expectation of a normal monsoon. The ARR specifies the amount that will be spent on purchasing power from outside also. We cannot exceed the level of expense permitted by the SERC for power purchase," Mr. Manoharan explained.

The reservoir position as on June 2 will give a general idea about the limitations. At full capacity, the hydel reservoirs in the State together can store water equivalent to 3,841.83 million units of electricity. On June 2, only 717.40 million units worth of water was in storage. This constituted barely 18.67 per cent of the total capacity.

Of the total storage capacity equivalent to 3,841.83 million units, the capacity of the reservoirs of Idukki, Sabarigiri and Idamalayar projects accounts for 3,316.58 million units. This is more than 86 per cent of the total storage capacity. The storage at Idukki was only 19.13 per cent of the capacity on June 2. It was 15.97 per cent for Sabarigiri and 18.69 per cent for Idamalayar on that day.

From the last week of May, the KSEB has stopped drawing power from the thermal power stations in the State since the existing demand of about 33 million units (under the 30-minute-load-shedding regime) can be fully satisfied utilising the increased generation of hydel power and the thermal power available from the Central grid. The `backing down' of the thermal stations in the State, including the National Thermal Power Corporation's Kayamkulam unit, has been done purely on the `merit order' basis - the most expensive first.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail


News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Classifieds | Employment | Updates: Breaking News |

News Update

The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |

Copyright 2004, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu