Regulator asks them to reduce power consumption

Our Bureau

"Non-continuous and continuous industries are required to restrict their monthly consumption to less than or equal to 80% and 90%, respectively, of their average monthly consumption."

MumbaiApril 23Industries in Maharashtra could face a second day of load shedding every week if they do not reduce their power consumption.

They have two months to reduce their consumption, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) said in its order to Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) on Monday.

MERC has asked the state utility to impose a second day of `staggering' load shedding every week if the industrial areas in the State do not regulate their consumption to prescribed levels.

"Non-continuous and continuous industries are required to restrict their monthly consumption to less than or equal to 80 per cent and 90 per cent, respectively, of their average monthly consumption over the previous 12 months (January to December 2006), in Million Units terms," the MERC order said.

Industries which have opted for express feeder connections have been spared load shedding.

`Express feeder' is a premium connection primarily used by continuous process industries in the State. Under this scheme, they pay more for both installation and electricity consumed.

However, the order has a silver lining- "if additional power becomes available, and the load shedding for agriculture-dominated regions is brought down to a ceiling of 12 hours, the second staggering day of load shedding need not be imposed for industrial consumers," the order said.

Earlier, MSEDCL had approached MERC with a revised load shedding proposal, which was rejected.

`LATE IN ISSUING TENDERS'

Coming down heavily upon MSEDCL, MERC said that the state power utility has not learnt from previous experience and has committed the same mistake of reducing power purchase from April 1.

"MSEDCL has floated tenders for procuring power for the month of April 2007 only on April 3, with tenders to be opened on April 17, which is irresponsible behaviour, as MSEDCL knew well in advance that the power purchase tie-ups are valid only till March 31, 2007," the order said.

The order also pointed out that Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Ltd's (MSPGCL) performance has been way below par. The bad performance is evident from the wide fluctuations in online capacity and frequent breakdowns resulting in loss of generation, leading to increase in the demand-supply gap in the State, said MERC.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 24, 2007)
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