The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) has firmed up purchase of 1,300 megawatt of power for this summer (till May 31) from Gujarat, West Bengal and Maharashtra.
Originally, the TNEB authorities had floated bids for 1,600 MW. With 1300 MW supply assured, they have now initiated the process for the rest.
The power, most of which will come from Gujarat, will be available round the clock. The weighted average cost of power will be Rs.5.9 per unit, according to a senior official.
The Board has also floated a tender for supply of power only during evening peak hours. It requires 843 MW during April and 893 MW during May. The last date for submission of bids is Wednesday.
In recent days, the demand has been on the rise. In addition, the Board has been hit by the loss of power to the extent of around 900 MW. On Tuesday morning, the authorities resorted to load shedding of 1,306 MW. Only Chennai and the suburbs were spared. The official says while the Board has succeeded in its efforts to get back 200 MW from the Tuticorin thermal power plant, it is hoping that problems in securing 300 MW power from the northern region will be over soon. Once the grid frequency stabilises, generation of 400 MW from the Kadamparai pumped storage unit will resume.
In the wake of the latest crisis caused by the loss of power, the Board has begun rationing peak-hour supply, for which High Tension (HT) consumers have gone in for the system of reliability charges.
In a recent circular, the Board informed the Southern India Mills' Association that this month, it would allot 50 per cent of the quantum opted by consumers.
The official says the Board has requested senior power managers of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to restrict excess drawal. This will enable TNEB to draw its share smoothly.
The Power Grid Corporation of India has also been approached to sort out the problem in getting committed supply from the northern region.
Consequent to the crisis, the Board has agreed to buy high-cost power of 150 MW from Kerala. Under the swap arrangement, 100 MW is expected to flow from Haryana next month.