Monday, June 8, 2009

Power from water in state takes a dip - Mumbai - Cities - The Times of India

Mumbai - Cities - The Times of India
Power from water in state takes a dip
9 Jun 2009, 0124 hrs IST, Chittaranjan Tembhekar, TNN

MUMBAI: Though Maharashtra's power generation from coal (thermal power) has gone up manifold, the power being generated from water (hydro power)
and natural gas has dipped considerably. Several such units are being phased out slowly, thereby increasing the gap between the installed capacity and the actual generation. This has resulted in a scenario in which the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) has had to buy almost double electricity from the power producers outside the state in 2008 than it bought in 2007.

The scenario may remain grim if more power is not provided by private players. Of the eight private power projects sanctioned in the state a few years ago, only one has started generation. Except one that may start generation in September this year, the remaining six companies are yet to start the work because of red tape. This was revealed in Maharashtra's economic survey--released by the state government last week.

Against the installed power-producing capacity of 21,654 MW, actual generation capacity comes to around 11,450 MW.

The performance of many suppliers has been dipping. The Maharashtra State Electricity Generation Company Ltd generated hydro power of 4606 MKWH (million kilo watt per hour) power in 2008 against 5651 MKWH in 2007. Similarly, it generated 3730 MKWH power in 2008 against 4028 MKWH in 2007.

Tata Power Company also seem to have lost generation capacity of its hydro and natural gas units. It produced 1489 MKWH hydro power in 2008 against 2137 MKWH in 2007. Its power generation through natural gas was 1339 MKWH in 2007 against 1337 MKWH in 2008.

So, the amount of power MSEDCL bought has gone up along with the cost. It had to purchase 78836 MKWH electricity during 2008 at a cost of Rs 15262 crore as against the 49710 MKWH power in 2007 by spending Rs 11,706 crore. This is considered the biggest power purchase by any state in the country.

Except for Ratnagiri Gas Power Project Ltd's (RGPPL) addition of nearly 500 MW, the scenario may not improve unless the private companies come up with their units.

The economic survey says that of the total eight private players who are setting up power units in the state, the 1500 MW capacity plants of Tata Power in Deharand and Trombay have just started producing 250 MW from March 2009 while the Jindal Power Corporation's Jaigad unit promises commissioning of 300 MW in September this year. The remaining proposed six power generation units have still not got land acquisition and clearances to actually start construction work.

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