Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Mar 12, 2003
Industry & Economy
KPTCL overdrawing from hydel projects
BANGALORE, March 11
FACED with rising summer demand, the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (KPTCL) has begun overdrawing from hydel reservoirs.
Sources said that the hydel stations which include the Sharavathy Valley and the Supa dam power house were generating close to 25 MUs per day. The State had initially capped generation from hydel reserves to just 15 MUs in a bid to conserve energy.
However, this conservation was not possible now in view of the demand from irrigation pumpsets. The actual requirement during summer in the State inclusive of irrigation was about 140 MUs units.
But by imposing demand restrictions, KPTCL had restricted the demand to just 100 MUs.
However, the State Government is hard pressed to meet even this reduced demand. This was partly because the existing generation inclusive of shares from the central generating stations and purchases from the neighbouring States was just about 85 MUs.
Sources said that the State was also not in a position to purchase additional power from the neighbouring States in view of deficits in those States and the cost of purchasing power.
The crux of the issues, sources said, was the resource constraints of KPTCL and the State Government. The State Government has already indicated that it would not meet the incremental power purchase bill of KPTCL over and above what is estimated for this fiscal.
This figure is estimated at Rs 3,000 crore. If resources were available, additional purchases could have been made from liquid/ gas fuelled stations in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The alternative would be to increase the hours of load shedding.
In fact, power shutdowns are already severe in the rural areas of Karnataka and only urban centres such as Bangalore have been spared. Increasing the shutdowns, however, is politically an unpalatable decision the sources said.
The other alternative would be to meet the demand by overdrawing the hydel reservoirs up to the mean draw down level and hope that this year the overdrawals would be compensated by higher inflows after two successive drought periods, sources said.
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