AP Transco will invest Rs. 4,000 crores for modernisation of sub-stations as part of efforts to supply quality power. Company's Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Jain told reporters on Sunday that their main thrust was to reduce transmission and distribution losses from 18.5 per cent to 15 per cent so as to get 90 per cent reimbursement of Central's loan of Rs.380 crore.

He said as part of modernisation they were trying to install separate feeders for agriculture and domestic consumers to improve frequency of power supply in rural areas. The strategy on this would be finalised by this month-end and it would be implemented in two to three years. Stating that they had generation of 10,889 MW as against demand of 14,041 MW, he said in next four to five years, the demand would go up further. Hence, priority was being accorded to modernise sub-stations. During next four years, 7,500 MW would be generated additionally. Construction of 132/228 kv sub-stations was being taken up. Of 61 sanctioned in the State, 14 would be built in Eastern Power Distribution Company of AP Ltd (EPDCL) area at a cost of Rs.300 crore.

Mr. Jain said a Japanese bank had also sanctioned Rs.2,000 crores for setting up underground gas insulated sub-stations all over the State over a period of five years.

Declaring that the AP Transco was taking several steps to ensure 24x7 power supply, he attributed the recent power crisis to depleting water levels at reservoirs, increase in power demand by agriculture and industries. “We are floating tenders in a month to have a long-term agreement to buy 2,000 MW. The tenders will be finalised in a month for which anyone, including private promoters, could submit their bids,” he said.

Subsidy

To a question, he said the government had spent Rs.3,500 crore towards agriculture subsidy last year. This year, AP Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) had okayed granting a subsidy of Rs.4,000 crore towards free power. About 27 lakh farm connections had consumed 16,000 million units, he informed.

Mr. Jain said three to four merchant power plants were coming up in Srikakulam district with freedom to sell power wherever they liked.

EPDCL Chairman and Managing Director Nadeem Ahmad said they had saved a demand for 34 MW by distributing compact fluorescent lamps supplied by Osram.

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