HYDERABAD: The two-day power cut in a week for industries will go up to three days from March in view of the dip in power generation and increase in demand.
Already, except in core Hyderabad (erstwhile Hyderabad Municipal Corporation area), there is outage for two hours at district headquarters and for four hours at mandal headquarters.
As production is hit, small industries have appealed to the labour department to allow them to declare lock-out since they will not be able to run the show with inadequate power.
The gas-based power stations are starving for gas, leading to a sharp fall in generation. As a result, the power utilities are unable to meet the demand and are forcing power cuts on the industrial and domestic sectors across the state.
As generation has taken a hit and Rabi season drawal having begun on February 15, the power utilities are being forced to impose cuts. As on date, the daily requirement of power is 275 million units as against 235 million units last year which is a an increase of 17 per cent as against the national average of 8 percent. The power utilities in the state are able to supply 251 million units, leaving a gap of 24 million units which works out to 9 per cent.
“As much as 1,300 mw capacity of gas-based power units is lying idle for want of gas. That means there is a shortfall of 30 million units in generation,” APTransco chairman and managing director Ajay Jain says.
The installed capacity of the nine gas-based stations in the state is 2,770 mw, of which only 1,400 mw capacity is being utilised. For utilisation of the entire capacity, the plants require 15.5 mmscmd gas but the state is getting only 9 mmscmd gas.
“If the gas-based power stations work to full capacity, there will be no power problem and we will even have a little surplus,” he says.
According to Jain, the situation has become precarious since the gas production by RIL has been steadily going down. As against the targeted production of 80 mmscmd gas by the RIL the maximum that it has reached was 61 mmscmd in April 2009. It kept declining and it is about 37 mmscmd.
The Group of Empowered Ministers headed by Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee met in Delhi on February 15 but could not enhance gas allocation to any state because there is no additional production. “It means we will have to grin and bear till the testing time _ Rabi season _ passes. There is no need to fear during May since the Rabi seasonal demand will cease by then. We will have to manage the crisis till April 15.”
Jain claims that all conceivable sources of power are being tapped. For instance, purchase of power. “We have placed order for 1,450 mw from power surplus states in the north but we got only 750 mw.
Then there is the problem in the transmission corridor from north to south. The corridor cannot handle more than 1,000 mw of power.
The only silver lining is that NTPC Simhadri’s another 400 mw and Simhapuri 180 mw unit at Krishnapatnam will be commissioned next month. The relief will be of the order of about 14 million units, Ajay Jain says.