Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Jul 18, 2002
Industry & Economy
AP Govt steps up efforts to streamline power supply
HYDERABAD, July 17
THE delayed monsoon, leading to parched farm lands and dwindling reservoir levels, has upset hydel generation in the State causing power demand-supply mismatch.
The Andhra Pradesh Government has stepped up efforts to regulate and streamline the power supply. The Chief Minister, Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu, on Wednesday told the Assembly during a discussion on the power situation that while generation has come down due to low reservoir levels, demand has shot up due to delayed onset of south-west monsoon necessitating some corrective measures. The situation is likely to ease out in the next few days.
The Government has assigned the deficit situation in the State from July 4. The spurt in demand was due to continuous dry spell and loss of generation in hydel and some thermal units. This has widened the gap between availability and requirement. Efforts have been stepped up to ensure that the gap between demand and supply was bridged, he said.
Steps to evacuate power from other regions had become difficult due to failure of two 500 MW units of Farakka and Talcher in the eastern region. This meant that the State's share has been reduced from about 4 MUs to about 1.2 MUs from July 13. These units were expected to be restored shortly.
Due to the prolonged dry spell, the current demand for agriculture has gone up to more than the normal requirement during this period. The additional demand on account of agriculture due to this dry spell is estimated at 10 MUs, according to the State Power Minister, Mr K. Subbarayudu.
On account of lack of inflows into hydel reservoirs, the shortfall in hydel generation is of the order of 10 MUs. Despite increased demand and shortfall in generation, nine-hour power supply is being maintained for the agriculture sector. However, in order to maintain grid safety, power supply is sometimes staggered over more than two spells, he said.
Shedding of loads at EHT (extra high tension) levels had become inevitable without notice in order to save the grid from total collapse, whenever generation loss occurs due to sudden tripping of units. The position is similar in all southern States and the southern regional grid is precariously low 90 per cent of the time, he added.
The Power Minister said that the load shedding was resorted to in all the southern States to protect the grid. The power situation in States more dependent on hydel generation such as Karnataka and Kerala, is more severe. "With all units, except unit six, generating to full capacity at KTPS (Kothagudem thermal power station), and eastern region supply further increasing, the power supply position is expected to improve.
The NTPC Simhadri will go up to full capacity once the `ash handling problem' is resolved, which is expected to take a week, he said.
The power issue has become a matter of concern and figured prominently in the proceedings in the State Assembly. The opposition parties also staged a walk out.
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