Plans two-pronged strategy for 18,000 MW in five years

Our Bureau

Power plan

The state

utility plans Rs 7,500-crore investment in infrastructure and upgradation.

Single phasing

scheme has been kicked off in about 7,500 villages.

Mahagenco has

signed up with Machakatta in Orissa for coal supply.

Pune, June 1

Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) has chalked out a roadmap to ensure Maharashtra becomes a surplus power State within five years.

Talking to presspersons, at a meeting organised by the Pune Shramik Patrakar Sangh, Mr Sanjay Bhatia, Managing Director, MSEDCL, said: "We are trying to become proactive rather than being reactive. We have chalked out a five-year programme by which time the State would have 18,000 MW power.'' The State is facing power shortage of 4,500 MW, which, if left to itself, would increase to 10,000 MW, he said.

To ensure that this level is reached, it has chalked out a two-pronged strategy which would have capacity addition on one side and demand supply management on the other. The State has already launched programmes such as the Akshay Prakash Yojana in as many as 80 villages where the villagers manage their power needs. He said single phasing scheme has also been kicked off in about 7,500 villages. Mr Sanjay said an investment of Rs 7,500 crore is being utilised for infrastructure and upgradation, which would include replacing older equipment such as transformers and sub-stations. The cost of generating power, he said, was Rs 4,000 crore per 1,000 MW at present.

He said with many of the projects working with coal as its raw material, the State company Mahagenco has also signed up with Machakatta in Orissa for the continuous supply of coal.

Plans for Pune

He said Pune would be divided into two urban and one rural circle and each circle would have turnkey projects. He said within a month tenders would be invited and the urgent works have already begun. He said finance for this has been arranged with Power Finance Corporation and Rural Electricity Corporation.

He said a memorandum of understanding for Rs 500 crore has been signed between the two parties and MSEDCL.

Asked whether this would put additional burden on the consumers, he said the State was now buying power from Orissa and other States at higher rates.

He noted that this was because the country as a whole was reeling under power shortage and the power was auctioned which resulted in higher rates.

He, however, gave the consumers a glad news that once the projects go on stream, the unit rate would remain close to Rs 2.25 per unit.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 2, 2006)
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