With the peak summer season around the corner, the government has asked power companies to take proactive actions to ensure no load shedding and meet the electricity demand.
Power Minister RK Singh held a high-level review meeting today wherein he asked all stakeholders to closely monitor the situation. The minister also directed the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) to ensure that a fair and transparent mechanism is devised for allocation of coal to various states.
Today’s meeting was attended by senior officials from Power, Coal and Railways ministries. Singh discussed the various aspects in a bid to meet high electricity demand in the ensuing summer months.
During the meeting, Singh asked power companies to ensure that there is no load-shedding during the summer months, a Power Ministry statement said.
As per estimates of the Central Electricity Authority, the peak electricity demand is expected to be 229 GW during April this year. The demand then tapers off as monsoon season picks up from the southern part of the country and covers the whole country over the next 3-4 months, it said. With GDP growing at close to 7 per cent, the power demand has been growing in the country at close to 10 per cent per annum, it added.
As per estimates, energy demand is expected to be 1,42,097 MU during April this year, highest in the year, before reducing to 1.41,464 MU in May and further declining to 1,17,049 MU during November, it said. The power ministry has devised a multi-pronged strategy to ensure adequate availability of power during the upcoming summer months, it stated.
As part of the strategy, the power utilities have been directed to undertake maintenance for coal-based power plants well in advance so that no planned maintenance is required during the crunch period, it said.
Directions have already been issued under section-11 (of electricity act) to all imported coal-based plants to run at full capacity from March 16, 2023.
Adequate coal stocks would be made available at the coal-based power plants. The Ministry of Railways agreed to provide 418 rakes to different subsidiaries of CIL, GSS and captive blocks and also enhance the number of rakes in due course so that sufficient coal stock can be maintained at power plants, it stated.
Gas-based power would be used to meet any peak demand, it stated. The ministry has directed NTPC to run its 5,000 MW gas-based power stations during the crunch period in April-May. In addition, 4,000 MW of additional gas-based power capacity would be added by other entities for availability during the summer months.
GAIL has already assured the Ministry of Power of the necessary supply of gas during the summer months. All the hydro plants have been instructed to operate in consultation with RLDCs/SLDCs (Regional/State Load Dispatch Centers) to optimize water utilization in the current month for better availability during the next month. An additional capacity of 2,920 MW would be available through new coal-based plants which would be commissioned by the end of this month. In addition, after direction from the Ministry, two units at Barauni (2X110MW) will be made available during crunch period.
With PTI Inputs
Catch latest stock market updates here. For all other news related to business, politics, tech, sports and auto, visit Zeebiz.com.