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Thursday, Nov 04, 2004

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Massive investments needed to augment power capacity in Maharashtra

Our Bureau

Mumbai , Nov. 3

MAHARASHTRA will need investments close to Rs 50,000 crore for setting up the 8,000 MW additional generation capacity by 2009-10 to meet its power requirements, Mr R.V. Shahi, Union Secretary, Ministry of Power, said here on Wednesday.

Mr Shahi told reporters that the Union Government had held a review meeting with the State to discuss the power situation. "Maharashtra is working with The Environment Research Institute (TERI) to add about 1,000 MW every year till 2009-10 and is working out the proportion of capacity that will be added by the Centre, State and independent power producers," Mr Shahi said on the sidelines of an industry seminar. Maharashtra will have to reduce its transmission and distribution losses that are presently at 38 per cent of total generation, he added. India has produced 7.8 per cent more power in the first half of this year compared to last year's increase of 3.3 per cent.

In the first quarter this year, India recorded an average plant load factor or capacity utilisation of 72.5 per cent, which is 3 per cent higher than in the same period last year. In the calendar year 2004, the country will complete the financial closure of 11 power generation projects of 4,000 MW.

Over nine new projects are close to achieving financial closure, Mr Shahi said. A 14,000-MW capacity would have achieved financial closure this year compared to 7,000 MW in the last 10 years.

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