The State, which is now suffering from an acute shortage of electricity, is likely to see capacity addition of over 3,000 megawatt (MW) during the financial year 2011-2012.
Sources in the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) say that of the expected quantum, 1,800 MW will come from the TANGEDCO's expansion projects at the North Chennai and Mettur Thermal Power Stations.
An additional unit at Mettur will provide 600 MW, which is expected to be commissioned by September. Two more units at the North Chennai TPS of 1,200 MW are likely to be ready by January-February 2012.
Besides, the Vallur thermal power project involving the NTPC and the TANGEDCO will produce 1,000 MW during October–December 2011, if the present plan gets fructified. Of this, the State's share will be 750 MW.
On Thursday, chairpersons of the NTPC and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, suppliers for the proposed Vallur plant, visited the project site and reviewed the progress.
On Monday, Union Minister of State for Power K.C. Venugopal is likely to hold discussion with the authorities.
The State may receive about 460 MW more if the Koodunkulum Atomic Power Station's first unit is commissioned in a few months.
According to the website of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India, the revised period of commissioning for the unit is June. Another unit will be ready by March 2012. The two units will provide relief to the State to the tune of 925 MW.
Also, two units of the Neyveli Thermal Station-II expansion are expected to be commissioned in a few months. An official says that the Neyveli Lignite Corporation has assured the TANGEDCO that at least one unit will be ready by the end of this month. The total capacity of the two units is 500 MW, of which the State's share is 325 MW.
If the plans of the authorities materialise, all these power projects, most of which are coal-fired thermal power ones, will ensure the addition of 3,800 MW. But, in many of the projects, the deadline has been revised several times. For instance, the first unit of Koodunkulam Station was originally to be commissioned in December 2007. In the case of Neyveli TS-II expansion, the two units were supposed to be ready in February and June 2009.
The sources explain that the TANGEDCO's financial health is such that it does not permit the authorities to buy high cost power to prevent load shedding in Chennai or increase its duration in other parts of the State.
The Corporation is getting only at Rs. 15 or Rs. 16 per unit, which it purchased at Rs. 8 or Rs. 9 even a year ago. During 2010-2011, it bought power on a temporary basis at about Rs. 5,865 crore, sufficient enough to fund a new thermal power project of 1,000 MW capacity. The cost of total power purchase was around Rs. 19,360 crore, which accounted for 85 per cent of the revenue through sale of power.
The Corporation requires liberal financial infusion by the State government to meet its commitment to power sellers. It is estimated that the value of deferred payment is around Rs. 5,000 crore, the sources add.