According to reports, to prevent recurrence of another power crisis in the state, the Tamil Nadu government has started making efforts to purchase power from all available sources. Soon after signing memorandums with DB Power, Jindal Power, Ind Bharat Energy (Utkal) and Balco, the Tamil Nadu Power Generation and Distribution Company (Tangedco) is eyeing six gas-based power plants along the Andhra Pradesh coast for tapping electricity.
All these gas-based plants are owned by private entrepreneurs and are currently lying idle due to water ingress into the D6 gas field in the Krishna-Godavari basin. The plants, with a combined capacity of around 2500MW, are likely to become operational as steps are being taken to clear the field of water. The gas-based plants which are lying idle are GMR’sVemagiri (370MW and 237MW), GVK’sJegrupadu Extension (220MW), Gauthami (464MW), Konaseema (445MW) and Lanco’sKondapalli Stage 11 (366MW).
“Once these plants in the southern region become operative, the total power availability will go up and it is easy to source power from the same region with the existing transmission lines,” said a government source. Tamil Nadu has around 4000MW capacity transmission lines to bring power from various states in the southern region.
“All these plants were getting gas from the D6 field in the Krishna-Godavari basin but due to water ingress the fuel supply stopped completely paralysing the plants. We are hopeful of the plants restarting as early as next year and we will be able to source power from Andhra Pradesh,” said a government source.
Confirming the official source, a GMR spokesperson told TOI that efforts are on to restart the company’s two plants in the Krishna-Godavari basin. “The plants are currently not in operation due to non-availability of gas from the KG basin. We are anticipating gas production to restart next year, which will result in operation of the plants, said the spokesperson. Once the power production starts, any state can bid for power and we are bound to go by the contract entered with the state, said the spokesperson.
The state government is also confident of adding nearly 4,000MW by March 2014 from its own sources. “Many plants owned by the state as well as by the NTPC are likely to become operational by March 2014. At least 3,500MW will be added from these plants as Tamil Nadu’s share before the onset of next summer,” said the source. The 4000MW capacity addition includes power from the Kudankulam unit 1 alone from which Tamil Nadu will get around 560MW.
In 2013 summer, the state witnessed power crisis to the extent it has not experienced for long. Many areas had to go without power for more than 14 hours and the crisis has been brought under control at present as wind and hydro power generation have picked up since June this year.