Boosted largely by a strong private sector performance,the Power Ministry announced Thursday that a record capacity addition of 54,000 MW is expected in the Eleventh Plan (2007-12). This has been possible mainly on account of a cumulative 19,459 MW of generation capacity that has been added in the final year of the current plan,another record by a wide margin.
Hitherto,the record for generation capacity commissioned in a single year was in 2010-11,when 12,160 MW was added.
Private developers account for close to 60 per cent of the capacity commissioned in the current fiscal,higher than what has been added by the Central sector utilities such as NTPC Ltd and state-sector generation firms. The challenge for developers,though,is how to run these newly commissioned projects,as nearly all of them are facing fuel shortages.
Despite the strong showing in 2011-12,the project commissioning is set to miss the revised capacity addition target of 62,000 MW set the current Plan period. We have so far added 53,922 MW capacity in the Eleventh Plan period as on March 29, Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters here on Thursday. The capacity addition target for the five year period ending March 31 was revised downward to 62,000 MW from the earlier target of 78,500 MW.
Shinde said the capacity addition achieved in the Eleventh Plan period is much higher than 21,180 MW seen in the 10th Plan.
Bailout for discoms being considered
A financial bailout could be on the cards for power distribution companies (discoms),at a time when precarious financials of these utilities has raised the possibility of defaults in the banking system.
On the question of bailing out discoms,Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that it is also being considered. The talks of a bailout come less than a decade after the losses of state electricity boards (SEBs) were taken over through RBI-guaranteed bonds as a one-time financial clean-up exercise in 2003. In December last year,the Shunglu Committee on Financial Position of Distribution Utilities suggested creation of a special purpose vehicle to absorb losses of discoms.