Almost 14 hours of power cut a day for the last two months is forcing industries, small and big, to go in for generators.
A generator supplier here says that the company used to supply about five generator sets a month. Now, it is 15 to 20 a month. The orders received are higher. Nearly four months ago, the company used to book orders for one or two a week. Now, it is much higher. The demand is mostly for generators of 10 KVA to 100 KVA capacity.
While the 10 KVA or 15 KVA generators go for domestic use, the higher capacity ones are for industries. Several small and medium-scale units seek reduction in initial cost. The micro units make enquiries. Use of generator sets is not viable for applications such as welding.
Apart from the demand for new generators, the second-hand market is also at its peak, the supplier said.
Higher use of generators has pushed up the demand for diesel too. An official of an oil marketing company here told The Hindu that there is 30 per cent to 40 per cent increase during the last six months in the company’s diesel despatch from its terminal here as against the average monthly increase of 10 per cent in off-take earlier, which was mainly for the automobile sector.
The company used to despatch 1,500 kilo litres of diesel a day earlier. On an average, it was 1,900 kl a day now. Some textile mills that purchased directly from the company used to take one or two loads of diesel a month earlier. Now, it was six to eight loads (normally a load is 12,000 litres). Some even ask for a load every day.
J. James, president of Tamil Nadu Association of Cottage and Micro Enterprises, said that the job working units were in such a situation that they would not have orders if they did not have generator sets. The energy cost worked out to Rs.20 a unit with the use of generator. Though this is not viable, “we cannot afford to lose orders or the workers,” he said. The units had to give work to the employees at least for eight hours a day. So, most of them preferred to use power from the grid for four hours and generator for another four hours a day.
Those who cannot afford to buy generator sets independently are looking at getting into groups of four or five and investing for a common generator (if the units are located on the same premises), he said.