Power capacity addition to be only 7,675 Mw this year

Coal supply shortage has forced the government to plan a capacity addition of only 7,675 Mw for the year 2011-12, which is the last year of ongoing 11th Five-Year Plan. With this target, the capacity addition for the 11th Plan will be little over 42,000 Mw, as against a target of 62,374 Mw.

Though the government is now trying to fix a target of over 113,072 Mw for the 12th Plan, officials said the issues relating to environment and land acquisition could be a dampener. “Targets will need to be looked at afresh after the government decides the approach for the Plan. A low carbon approach can mean that the over 1 lakh Mw capacity addition target will have to reworked,” said a senior government official. Even while fixing the target for 11th Plan, these issues were not anticipated, he added.

During 2010-11, Coal India Ltd (CIL) had committed 335 mt of coal, but the actual supply stood at 302 mt, according to a senior official from the power ministry. Even the plants commissioned during 2009-10 would operate at lower PLF and the plants commissioned in 2010-11 would not operate at all as they have no coal supply. This has forced us to keep an achievable target of 7,675 Mw for the last year of the 11th Plan period, the official added.

In 2010-11, the government has been able to achieve 12,160.50 Mw, which is the highest capacity addition in a single year. The year 2009-10 too was a record year with the country adding highest ever capacity of 9,585 Mw.

For the total 11th Plan, a capacity of 34,462 Mw had been achieved till March this year. The government had fixed a target of 78,000 Mw for the 11th Plan, which was later revised to 62,374 Mw during the mid-term appraisal by the Planning Commission.

However, about 9,000 Mw out of the total capacity added so far in the current 11th Plan has been on account of projects that were to come up in the 10th Plan period. The government had fixed a target of 40,000 Mw capacity addition in the 10th Plan but only 21,180 Mw was achieved leading to a spillover in the current plan.

The Planning Commission had also set up a working group on power to review the capacity addition for the 11th Plan as well as formulate strategy for the upcoming 12th Plan. It had been proposed that nine sub-groups should be set up under the working group, which would submit its report by September 30.

It would also recommend optimal mix of additional generating capacity during 12th Plan period on the basis of different fuels at different locations, besides exploring avenues for purchase of power from neighbouring countries through joint venture schemes.

An assessment of investment requirement for the 12th Plan in the power sector would also be done by the group. Infrastructural support such as transportation, port facilities, construction and manufacturing capabilities that would be required for implementation of the 12th and 13th Five Year plans would also be looked at.

Source – Business Standard

 

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SUMIT KUMAR

Executive at India Electron Exchange

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