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Power crisis shuts industry in Andhra

12 power plant units down for repairs,deficit reaches 67 million units; Oppn takes to streets

Written by Sreenivas Janyala | Hyderabad |
August 22, 2012 1:26:20 am

Andhra Pradesh is facing a power crisis: on August 20,the state ran a deficit of 67 million units and the government has announced indefinite power cuts to industry,blaming shortage of generation due to insufficient rainfall. If that wasn’t enough,at least 12 power plant units have flamed out.

Two 500 MW plants — one each at NTPC Ramagundem and Dr Narla Tatarao Thermal Plant at Vijayawada — have been shut since August 10 for maintenance. The Ramagundem unit,which is undergoing once-in-two-years overhaul,“may take 35 to 40 days to restart production again,” said an NTPC official.

On Tuesday,a 210 MW unit 3 at Vijayawada flamed out and a 100.8 MW unit at Nagarjunasagar Hydroelectric Plant was shut down after a generator failed.

A 120 MW unit at Kothagudem Thermal Plant and a 120 MW unit at Kothagudem suffered an outage on August 19. The Kothagudem unit has since been repaired.

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Three units of 210 MW each at Rayalaseema Thermal Power Plant suffered various failures between August 16 and August 19. The 100.8 MW Nagarjunasagar Hydro Unit 3 was also shut down for an annual overhaul on July 23. In all,seven thermal units and five hydroelectric power units are currently being repaired in the state,according to the state’s power generation company APGenco.

“The state is already facing a shortage of 1400 MW and this shutdown has hit power generation. Unless we cut power to industry,we cannot keep up the domestic supply,” said an official.

The crisis has angered the industry as well as the Opposition,which came out to protest Tuesday. The police detained leaders of Telangana Rashtra Samiti and TDP for several hours when they tried to storm APTransco headquarters in Hyderabad.

The industry was already facing three days a week power holiday before the government announced an indefinite power cut,enraging industry captains.

“Since last Friday there is no power to industry due to the 3-day industrial power holiday. Monday was a general holiday. We were excepting to resume operations from Tuesday when this jolt came out of the blue. How will the industry survive if there is absolutely no power?” said Devender Surana,President of Federation of AP Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Due to the three-day power holidays,the loss to industry has been more than Rs 250 crore a day. If things go on like this,we will have to shut down and sit home or move to other states.”

Meanwhile,in its report on the crisis to the chief minister,APTransco said the crisis started when power deficit reached 67 million units — against a demand of 275.19 million units,the supply was just 207.99 million units — on Monday.

On August 21,the requirement would be 270 million units against the supply of 203.12 million units,the report forecast,prompting the decision to cut power to industry,irrespective of their category.

As a result,more than 200 industrial estates in the state came to a grinding halt on Tuesday.

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