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Power capacity target for 11th Plan: Centre initiates action to minimise slippages

Anil Sasi

Addition targets for Eleventh Plan

New Delhi , Nov 22

Having faltered on its power capacity addition target for the current Plan by a wide margin, the Centre now plans to set realistic generation capacity addition targets for the Eleventh Plan (2007-12).

However, the Government's `Power for All' target, aimed at augmenting the country's power generation capacity by an additional one lakh MW cumulatively during the Tenth and Eleventh Plan periods, now appears to be a long shot even under the most optimistic scenario, officials admit.

Among the steps being taken to minimise slippages in the Eleventh Plan period, the Government has got Central Electricity Authority (CEA) to identify a shelf of thermal projects totalling 88,000 MW and hydro projects worth 34,000 MW to increase options and create a buffer.

A chain of coastal power plants adding up to 10,000 MW based on imported or blended coal are proposed to be set up, in addition to the proposed ultra mega projects. All the coastal States have been asked to prepare the action plan to meet this target, officials said.

Only those hydro projects for which the letter of award (LOA) is expected to be issued by March 2007 would be included for commissioning during the Eleventh Plan.

In the case of projects being developed through utilising new technologies, such as the super critical technology, only those would be included in the Eleventh Plan where LOAs are expected by March 2007. Officials said that detailed discussions have been initiated with the State Governments where, based on projected growth scenario and consequent increase in power demand, each State has been directed to firm up the Eleventh Plan capacity addition programme and send to the Ministry within two months.

Meetings with equipment major BHEL have been initiated. Suppliers of ash handling equipments, coal handling equipments, supply of compressors and thermal insulation units have also been asked to augment capacity to meet the higher demand expected during the next Plan period.

Despite all of these initiatives, officials admit that achieving the `Power for All' target by 2012 appears shaky ever under the most optimistic scenario.

According to latest Government estimates, the requirement of installed capacity to meet the projected demand works out to about 2,06,000 MW, resulting in a capacity addition requirement of about 72,000 MW in the Eleventh Plan period, taking into account the current Plan's revised capacity addition of 30,641 MW.

Even if the revised capacity addition target for the current Plan is to be achieved, around 12,900 MW of under construction projects need to materialise during the remaining five months till March 2007, as against a total of only 17,700 MW that has been commissioned so far during the last four and a half years of the current Plan period.

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