Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Monday sought the personal intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the immediate allocation of additional power of 1,000 megawatt (MW) for the next one year (June 2011-May 2012) from the Central pool.
The allocation was for meeting the genuine needs of farmers and the public, she stated in her letter to Dr. Singh.
Ms. Jayalalithaa highlighted that the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board had been resorting to scheduled load shedding of about 1,500 MW and frequent unscheduled load shedding due to “increasing demand and stagnant generation of power.” This had badly affected the industrial sector and domestic consumers. Agriculture was the worst hit due to irregular and inadequate supply of power to agricultural pump sets, affecting food production, she said. She also requested the Prime Minister to issue instructions to expedite the completion of ongoing Central power projects in the State.
Additional generation of power in the State might take one or two years as many new projects were in various stages of construction. Even the Central power projects such as the Kudankulam Atomic Power Station with two units of 1,000 MW each and the Neyveli Thermal Power Station Stage II expansion (two units of 250 MW each), which were expected to commence power generation in 2009, were yet to be completed and commissioned, causing serious concern to the State government, she said, adding that she had taken several steps to improve energy efficiency and reduce the gap between supply and demand. Already, the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) has floated bids for short-term procurement of 500 MW round the power from June to March.
The Central Electricity Authority (CEA), in its load generation balance report for 2011-2012, has stated that one unit each of the Neyveli TPS and the Kudankulam APS were expected to be commissioned this year. The share of Tamil Nadu from the two units would be around 625 MW. Besides, two units of Bhavani Kattalai Barrages of 20 MW would be commissioned.
However, officials in the State government and the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) say that by the end of the current financial year, nearly 2,000 MW will be available through projects being implemented by the TANGEDCO, apart from one jointly executed by the TANGEDCO and the NTPC at Vallur, on the northern outskirts of Chennai.
According to the CEA projection, the State will suffer energy shortage of 18 per cent and peak demand shortage of 16.8 per cent in 2011-2012. In the southern region, Tamil Nadu will be having the highest energy shortage (18 per cent). As regards peak demand shortage, it will be next to Andhra Pradesh, whose deficit is expected to be 18.5 per cent.