M. Malleswara Rao

Rabi season comes to an end

Demand falls to 177.7 mu

HYDERABAD: Power sector officials have heaved a sigh of relief as the worst period for power supply this summer has ended with the close of the rabi season which accounted for nearly one half of the power generated.

The demand, which touched a record high of 194.9 million units on March 11 even after scheduled cuts in rural areas, has dropped to around 180 mu on an average daily.

On Tuesday, the demand even fell to 177.7 mu, providing further respite to the power utilities. But for the unseasonal heavy rains in April, which were fairly widespread, the demand would have crossed 200 mu mark, forcing AP Transco to step up purchases at a huge cost.

Officials are confident that the demand may not go up again till the close of the summer in spite of the increase they anticipate in the domestic sector and operation of agriculture pumpsets in Nellore and Chittoor districts where the Government has allowed a third crop - sugar and paddy.

Technical problems

On the negative side, nearly one-tenth of the State’s total installed capacity of 12,300 MW is lying idle now due to technical problems or gas shortage, causing a daily loss of nearly 15 mu daily.

Yet, the supply position remains “comfortable” following AP Transco’s decision to operate Lanco’s 350 MW project at Kondapalli using naphtha, a costly fuel, for another month, and divert the gas from this plant to Vemagiri besides increasing hydel generation to 20 mu a day.

According to AP Transco’s assessment, the grid will not have any difficulty in meeting the demand at 180 mu till the onset of monsoon in the first week of June.

As much as 538 mu can be generated from Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar reservoirs if the situation turns bad, according to officials.