In a matter of 12 months, the State power sector’s capacity is to go up by about 3,230 megawatt (MW).
Of this, 1,800 MW is to come from three additional units of the State Sector projects, of which two are being set up at the North Chennai Thermal Power Station and one at Mettur. About 1,428 MW will be contributed by two joint venture projects.
This was indicated by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) in its petition filed before the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) as a sequel to the order of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on the issue of equitable power distribution pattern in the State.
The status on capacity addition does not include the commissioning of the first unit (1,000 MW) of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, for which the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) on Thursday gave its clearance for the second heat-up.
According to the website of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NCPIL), the first unit is expected to reach the stage of commercial operation this month and the second unit by July next. Tamil Nadu’s share from the two units is 925 MW. A report from New Delhi pointed to the likelihood of the first unit kicking off by the end of this month during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to India.
On an average, the State is facing a deficit of about 4,000 MW. As on date, around 2,800 MW of load shedding is being resorted to. Besides, what is in force is the power cut of 40 per cent on base demand and energy for all high-tension (HT) Industrial and Commercial services and 90 per cent cut on quota demand and energy for HT industrial units and commercial establishments during 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
If all the projects, including Kudankulam, were commissioned as per the revised plan, there are chances of overcoming the shortage totally. At the same time, what is to be kept in mind is that the State’s demand for power grows by seven to eight per cent annually.
As for reports about the Union government de-allocating Mandakini-B coal block in Odisha [which is to be shared by Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Meghalaya and Assam equally], a senior official here says that the Tangedco has not yet received any communication. The Odisha government’s decision of not granting prospecting licence could be the reason behind the Centre’s reported action.
However, the official says that work on Gare Pelma sector II coal block in Chattisgarh is progressing well and as per the present plan, the production of coal is to start by December 2015.
On teething troubles at the Vallur thermal power station, jointly promoted by the Tangedco and NTPC, the official replies that they are being attended to. Production is expected to resume by Sunday night.