Corporation unable to meet demand owing to cut in gas supply to State

The cut in gas supply imposed on the State by the Empowered Group of Ministers is likely to force APTransco to resort to heavy purchases of power from external sources to meet the demand, particularly that of the farm sector which has to be ensured the supply for seven hours a day.

At present, the utility is buying 18.3 million units (mu) from traders, offering a price of Rs. 5 to 6 per unit. As most States are reeling under power shortage in spite of the monsoon being into its third month, and are scrambling to make purchases in the open market, APTransco may have to shell out heavily for whatever purchases to be made hereafter.

According to an official, it may have to start the offer from Rs. 7 per unit. The plan is to purchase another 10 mu if made available to the State amidst a stiff competition in the sales market. It may have to set aside a heavy budget for the purpose if status quo ante is not restored regarding gas supply to the State. Meanwhile, Central generation stations of NTPC are extending a big help to AP by contributing 57.4 mu a day to its grid, which is more than a quarter of the total supply made to 2.2 crore power consumes. Out of this, the supply by NTPC’s Simhadri station at Visakhapatnam is sizeable at 19 mu a day. A half of the installed capacity of this station is AP-dedicated.

Without break

On its part, AP Genco is making 95 mu of energy available to the grid, meeting 45 per cent of the restricted demand. Out of this, 90 mu is being contributed by its thermal stations which are run uninterruptedly without a break. On the contrary, the contribution being made by hydel stations remains a pittance at 5 mu. Meanwhile, a Transco press release said the government has decided to pursue with Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) for early completion of its ongoing gas insulated and 765-KV high voltage transmission lines projects taken up at accost of Rs 6,000 crore, so that transmission availability to the southern States, particularly AP, would improve.

Once this improved, any State in the South would be able to get power from surplus upcountry State/grid during shortages as being experienced now in AP following cut in gas supply.

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