Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Nov 23, 2002
Industry & Economy
Power generation, exports drop in eastern region
KOLKATA, Nov. 22
THERE has been an average drop of 1.5 per cent in power generation by the eastern region utilities between July and October 2002. Correspondingly, power exports from the region, which is connected to almost all the other regions, has also dropped.
The reduced generation, which is attributed to the poor monsoon in the region (where consumption has remained static), will be discussed at the forthcoming meeting of the Eastern Regional Electricity Board (EREB) slated to be held in Ranchi on November 26, 2002.
The meeting is also set to discuss the share allocation of the Tala Power Project to eastern region constituents. This issue has been a bone of contention between the Northern Regional Electricity Board (NREB) and the EREB.
EREB constituents had strongly objected an earlier move to take the power from the hydel power station in Bhutan to the north, overflying the east.
While the NREB had maintained that the power surplus eastern region did not need this power, EREB had maintained that it needed the hydel power in view of its adverse thermal-hydel ratio.
The Union Power Ministry later agreed to allow the eastern region States to have the Tala power but on the condition that it would send its surplus thermal generation to the north.
Now the MoP has allocated 50 per cent of the power to West Bengal, 15 per cent to DVC, 2.5 per cent to Sikkim and 31.5 per cent to Bihar.
Jharkhand, which has been allocated 0.91 per cent has requested for a higher allocation, saying that its share was meagre. This issue is also expected to be discussed at the EREB meeting.
The tiff between West Bengal State Electricity Board (WBSEB) and the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) over the latter's move to curb West Bengal's allocation from the Farakka Super Thermal Power Station, while increasing it at Kahalgaon Station, which charges a higher rate.
Sore over the change from 33 per cent to 26 per cent (at Farakka) effected since May 2002, WBSEB had taken up the matter with the Central Electricity Authority as well as the NTPC.
However aggrieved at the poor response, it has now been decided to discuss the matter at EREB.
Meanwhile, there is a cloud over the proposed introduction of the availability based tariff (ABT) system in the eastern region from January 2003.
Two of the region's power generators - Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) and the Grid Corporation of Orissa (Gridco) - have expressed reservations about implementation.
DVC, whose control room at its operational headquarters in Maithon was damaged in a recent fire, has said that it would be difficult for it to account for power generated under the ABT system since it was now being done manually and on phone.
Gridco has said that, given the drought conditions (which has affected its generation), it was not in a position to go in for a new tariff system now.
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