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Tamil Nadu eases power cuts for industries

According to reports, in a major relief to the industrial sector, Tamil Nadu has withdrawn power cuts for heavy industries until September 30, except during peak hours between 6pm and 10pm.

The state power utility also agreed to consume the entire power generated by windmills run by private producers. This is the first time in over a year that industries in the state will not have to cope with scheduled power cuts. “The existing 40% power cut to HT (high tension) industrial and commercial services may be totally relaxed other than peak hours,” Tangedco said on Tuesday.

Also, during peak hours, while companies were earlier allowed to draw only 10% power, this cap has been increased to 60%. “Relaxation beyond September 30 can be considered separately based on power availability,” the order said.

The government’s decisions are because of the dip in domestic demand due to weather conditions and improved production in hydro stations, where dams are brimming over. Evacuation of wind power has also increased due to expanded transmission capacity within the state.

“Members are now eligible to use wind energy both in banking and in current generation for consumption at their mills without restriction,” said Tasma’s chief advisor K Venkatachalam.

Chairman of CII-Southern Region and managing director , Saint-Gobain Glass India , B Santhanam, said smaller industries which were hit hard by power cuts would benefit more than the larger ones. “We are entering a good period now. Though it is not all hunky-dory , it is better than the past,” he said.

Textile mills in the region have hailed the state government’s move. Both wind power producers and industries that use high tension power will benefit, said Southern India Mills’ Association chief S Dinakaran. The decisions would help generate additional employment and improve performance of industrial units, he said. The state would be further relieved of the power crisis if Tangedco is able to firm up power purchase with third parties, he said.

“HT consumers will be able to use their capacities to the fullest extent after a long period of five years,” said Tamilnadu Electricity Consumers Association D Balasundaram . With the first reactor of the Kudankulam nuclear plant expected to add power to the grid shortly and other augmentation measures in the offing, he exuded confidence that the relaxation for high tension users might be extended even after the end of September 2013.

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