T. Ramakrishnan

Short-term bids floated for purchase of power from cogeneration plants, diesel-run units

TNEB seeks details regarding quantum of power available, cost, fuel and location

CHENNAI: Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has ordered that 100 megawatt be supplied to Tamil Nadu.

This followed a meeting Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veeraswami had with Mr. Shinde in New Delhi on Thursday morning.

On Wednesday, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi had explained the position of power shortage to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Subsequently, the Union Power Minister called on the Chief Minister at Tamil Nadu Bhavan, an official release stated.

Usually, the State gets 2,350 MW as its share from Central Generating Stations (coming under direct control of the Centre). This excludes 475 MW from Thermal Power Station- I at Neyveli.

Last week, Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veeraswami said the State was receiving about 60 per cent of its share from the Central stations.

An official said the quantum of 100 MW, now approved, was in addition to 75 MW being supplied from the Central pool during evening peak hours. It would be given for a month during peak hours.

On Thursday, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board floated short-term bids for the purchase of power from cogeneration plants and diesel-run units. Several firms have shown interest. The Board sought details regarding quantum of power available, cost, fuel and location.

According to the sugar industry, cogeneration plants are idle when bagasse is not available and they should be permitted to use coal during lean months. An estimate revealed that 1,000 MW could be harnessed through such plants and diesel-run units.

Another official explained that the diesel-run units would be handy because they could be run as and when power was required. The tender would be finalised in a week.

Speaking to presspersons after reaching Chennai, Mr. Karunanidhi said orders for the quantum of power to be supplied to the State were issued on Thursday. The State had demanded for 300 MW when Mr. Karunanidhi met the Prime Minister. He had asked Mr. Shinde to meet Mr. Karunanidhi. “Taking into consideration the acute power shortage situation in northern and other States, we have been given 100 MW,” he said and added that the situation would be reviewed at the end of the 30-day period.