If present plans of power managers are to fructify

Electricity consumers in many parts of the State may get substantial relief if the present plans of power managers are to fructify.

At present, the duration of load shedding is in the range of 8 to 10 hours except in Chennai where it is two hours. Till recently, it was as high as 12 hours. On Sunday morning (about 8 a.m.), the generation was nearly 7,340 megawatt (MW) with the quantum of load shedding of around2,680 MW.

A few days ago, one unit of 500 MW of the Vallur thermal power project achieved the critical stage – commercial operation date (COD). Though there are reports of teething troubles, the State authorities are optimistic that it is a matter of time and Tamil Nadu will get about 345 MW from the unit. The authorities have been seeking at least the entire quantum of unallocated power, which is 75 MW.

Jointly implemented by the NTPC and the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco), the Vallur project has three units of 500 MW each. Another unit too is likely to achieve COD in a few months. The share of Tamil Nadu is about 69 per cent.

As for the additional unit of 600 MW at the Mettur Thermal Power Station [which is run by the Tangedco], the power managers are hopeful of achieving COD by the end of this month. At times, it is generating as high as 500 MW. As per a plan, the managers want to ensure that the additional unit generates 300 MW on a sustained basis from January.

With the authorities securing environmental clearance for Stage II (two units of 600 MW each) of the North Chennai Thermal Power Plant, they are planning to synchronise one unit with the State grid this week. It will take a few more months for reaching the COD stage. The bottom line is that next year’s summer will not be as severe as it was this year because the State will have about 1,200 MW more power at its disposal. This does not include the expected commissioning of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in the coming months. Once the first unit of 1,000 MW starts generation on a sustained basis, the State is to get about 460 MW, though the State government has been demanding allocation of full power. The State’s position will be even better in the event of the second unit at the Vallur project also commencing generation.