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AP: Energy demand shoots up in Sept

Our Bureau

Hyderabad , Sept. 21

THE daily average energy demand in Andhra Pradesh during September 2003 has shot up to more than 140 million units as against 129 MUs during the corresponding period last year.

In spite of the non-availability of cheaper hydel energy this demand is being met with, thereby necessitating procurement of power from expensive thermal and gas generating stations, according to APTransco.

The hydel thermal mix in the State, which was estimated at 20:80 at the commencement of the year has deteriorated to 5:95 by September 2003, because of poor inflows into reservoirs, particularly in the Krishna river. This contrasts with a high hydel, thermal mix of 35:65 in 1995-96.

While the average daily demand met during 1995-96 was 97 MUs, the power utilities were able to meet an average daily demand of about 140 to 160 MUs. This has been possible by taking up massive capacity addition of 4236 MW over the last few years.

This works out to about 530 MW addition per year at an average. The current installed capacity of 10356 MW compares with 6120 MW in 1995-96. This is further strengthened with massive investments of Rs 9,200 crore in the T&D sector, thereby averaging investment of about Rs 1,100 crore per annum since 1995-96 to meet the ever-growing demand.

The Chairman and Managing Director of APTransco, Ms Rachel Chatterjee, stated that the power utilities have been able to meet growing demand with better quality and reliability and with increased customer services focus. This was coupled without any increase in tariff in the last two years in spite of increasing power purchase and supply cost.

In an open letter to the employees of APTransco and DisComs, the CMD has commended the efforts of the filed staff in maintaining the supply despite unprecedented dry spell in the State. Emphasising that the domestic tariffs and the agriculture tariffs are among the lowest in the country, she assured sustained quality improvement.

The CMD maintained that the T&D losses have been reduced from 38 per cent in 1999 to 23.4 per cent in August 2003. With these measures move more than Rs 1000 crore have been saved by reducing T&D losses. This was possible due to improvements in internal efficiency by reduction in losses, control of theft, improved investment efficiency and bringing in best management practices.

Simhadri outage: Around midnight on Saturday, two units of 500 MW each at the NTPC Simhadri tripped due to submergence of all discharge valves of the circulating water pumps. This sudden loss of 1000 MW of generation capacity caused dip in frequency from 49.2 to less than 48.5 hz. This triggered emergency load relief to improve the overall efficiency and to protect grid from collapse, according to Transco.

This necessitated import of about 650 MW from the Eastern Grid. In addition, hydel generation of about 400 MW was initiated to balance the overall generation to bridge the demand supply mismatch. However, according to Transco both the units of Simhadri were restored by afternoon.

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