The Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA), an industrial body of textile mills in south India, has submitted a proposal to the Union Government for a 250-MW power plant for mills in Tamil Nadu.

The association’s newly elected chairman T. Rajkumar told presspersons here on Wednesday that the power requirement by textile mills in the state is nearly 1,000 MW. The mills are the largest consumers of grid power in the State, which has been facing power shortage for the last four years. The association has submitted a Rs. 1,250 crore project proposal to the Centre. According to the proposal, which is in its initial stage, the mills will contribute 50 per cent equity and the Central Government will give another 30 per cent as a grant.

With regard to a textile processing park that the association had mooted nearly nine years ago and for which infrastructure works started two years ago, M. Senthil Kumar, SIMA’s deputy chairman, said that 40 per cent of the works were over. There were delays because of several reasons and the association was hopeful of units commencing operation at the park next year. The Rs. 600-crore project at Cuddalore was expected to be commissioned in 2013.

Mr. Rajkumar added that the focus for the association was encouraging the member mills to go in for value addition. Several textile mills have gone in for value addition (such as making garments or weaving fabric) during the last five years. The modified Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) also encouraged value addition and modernisation of the power loom sector.

Gujarat and Maharashtra, which have come out with textile policies, are expected to add 3.5 million and three million spindles respectively in another two years, while Tamil Nadu has 23 million spindles. The mills in the State should focus on modernisation and strengthening of the weaving sector, he said.