It is expected to commence production by the end of May

One 600-megawatt (MW) unit of the North Chennai Thermal Power Station (NCTPS) reached full load on Saturday morning, indicating that the State is on the road to recovery from the spell of power crisis that it has undergone in the past several months.

At about 10.10 a.m. on Saturday, the unit attained full load, meaning that it was able to generate power to its capacity.

An official says one more month may be required before the unit gets commissioned or, what is called in the parlance of power engineers, attains the stage of COD (Commercial Operation Declaration).

The other unit at the NCTPS which is also 600 MW is also expected to commence production in a full-fledged manner by May, the official expresses the hope.

As per the original plan, the two units should have reached the stage of COD in 2011 – one unit in May and another in November. At the Mettur Thermal Power Station, a 600-MW unit is likely to reach COD in a month.

Already, for the last couple of months, the State has been getting its share of 375 MW from one 500-MW unit of the Vallur Thermal Power Project, which is being implemented by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) and NTPC. Another unit is to be commissioned in a few months. The execution of the projects was hit by a host of factors, including the delay in establishing coal handling/ash handling facilities and issues with suppliers of equipment, all contributing to the inordinate delay in the commissioning of units.

If the present plans fructify, the State is expected to get, by the end of May, about 2,500 MW additionally and the present shortage of 4,000 MW will come down drastically.

Around late May-early June, the advent of southwest monsoon will make available considerable quantum of wind power, say, at least 1,000 MW. Central agencies too have assured Tamil Nadu of inter-region corridor availability for 500 MW from June.

This is why the authorities are confident that the middle of 2013 will be qualitatively different, on the power supply front, from what the State witnessed during the corresponding period of 2012 and thereafter.