Drop in natural gas supply and inadequate coal supply are causing concern for power generation in Andhra Pradesh leading to demand-supply mismatch.

In addition, the transmission corridor limitations are hampering evacuation of power from other regions leaving a wider gap in demand and supply.

The gas-based power plants in the State are operating at 47 per cent of the plant load factor as against 75 per cent firm gas allotment made to these plants. The drop in gas supply from Reliance has forced these plants to run at lower capacities.

According to a statement from the Energy Coordination cell, the State is finding it hard to secure the necessary coal for thermal power plants which constitute about 50 per cent of the total installed capacity of 15,974 MW. The State is already importing about 1.6 million tonnes of coal to meet the shortfall faced by AP Genco thermal power plants.

In spite of the increase in power generation capacity in the State from 7,974 MW in 2000-2001 to 15,974 MW in 2012, the utilities are unable to meet the demand. The per capita consumption has doubled to 1,050 units in 2012 as against 489 units in 200-2001.

Even after doubling the overall installed capacity in the State and reduction in transmission and distribution losses, the demand-supply gap has widened during the current kharif season, due to increase in demand from the farm sector. Uncertain monsoon and low reservoir levels, the latter hampering hydel power generation have all added to the State’s power sector woes.

Supply contracts

The State Government is also in the process of contracting long-term supply contracts and has floated tenders, which are yet to be finalised.

During rabi 2012, the State had to meet a high demand of 307 MUs a day as against earlier peak demand of 282 MUs.

vrishi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 9, 2012)
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