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SIMA explores options to tackle power shortage

Oct '09
In Tamil Nadu HT industries are facing 20% power cut both in respect of demand and energy. Besides this, there is a load shedding of two hours daily and evening peak hour restriction between 6 pm and 10 pm. In simple terms, apart from 20% power cut, there will not be power supply for six hours in a day, which accounts for another 25%.

This has hit the operations of the textile industry and utilization has come down to just around 70% as against the break-even level of 90 per cent. It is felt by the Southern India Mills' Association (SIMA) that, this kind of situation will continue for another three to five years and the shortfall will be 1,875 MW in 2013-14.

In order to meet the power shortage of its member mills, SIMA has prepared long and short term plans. Under the long term plan, SIMA is exploring the possibility of putting a power project either coal based or gas based depending upon the availability and cost factors. In this connection, SIMA invited some of the power project companies for discussion.

In short term, it has been planned to purchase power for member mills both under the inter-state open access system as well as intra-state power purchase. At present, Tamil Nadu Electricity Board has also principally agreed for the inter-state power purchase and the traders like IL&FS and Power Trading Corporation have come forward to supply power for a shorter period of one year.

The power cost will be around Rs.7.25 per unit apart from other deemed demand charges, wheeling charges, etc. The other companies like MALCO, OPG etc., have also come forward to supply power for a period of one to two years under the intra-state power purchase. SIMA is in the process of collecting the details from the member mills for their requirements.

At present, member mills of SIMA feel that at the existing 20% power cut and two hours load shedding, the third party power could not be fully utilized. In fact, member mills of SIMA are keen in buying power during the evening peak hours. However, all the power generating companies are interested in supplying power round the clock and not exclusively for evening peak hours.

As projects on wind energy have almost come to a standstill, it is expected that the percentage of power cut will increase in due course of time, due to which it will become absolutely important and necessary to purchase power for the member mills of SIMA. In the meanwhile, SIMA is also planning to apply to TNERC to get the distribution license by forming a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the purpose of distributing, electricity to member mills.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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