Punjab steel industry to face 1-day power cut every week

Written by Press Trust of India | Chandigarh | Updated: Jun 22 2010, 04:14am hrs
With demand for power overshooting supply, the Punjab State Power Corporation (Powercom) has decided to impose one-day power cut on steel producing industry per week from Monday.

Besides, Powercom has also imposed 2.5 hours cut per day on urban and rural sectors. We have decided to impose one-day power cut in a week on induction furnace and rolling mills from tomorrow and 2.5 hours cut on urban and rural sectors, Powercom MD KD Chaudhary told PTI on Sunday.

He said if situation warrants, the one-day power cut on steel producers may be enhanced to two days in a week. In addition, peak hours load restrictions, which is three hours per day, will also be imposed on steel producers including induction furnace and rolling mills, he added.

Flaying the decision of Powercom imposing one-day weekly off on furnaces and rolling mills, Mandi Gobindgarh Induction Furnace Association president Mohinder Gupta said power authorities should have discussed beforehand with industry before resorting to load shedding.

They (authorities) should have told us about 15 days in advance before going for power cuts so that we can adjust our production schedule accordingly to take care of our orders, he said.

Industry suggested that it should set up a load forecasting centre to make fair assessment of load in future to make adequate power procurement arrangements. Such centre should forecast load on hourly, daily, monthly and seasonal basis to ensure that there is no mismatch between demand and supply position, said a Ludhiana based industrialist.

In the peak summer season, the demand for energy in the state has gone up to 1,950 lakh units a day against the supply of 1,800 lakh units per day, resulting into a gap of 150 lakh units.

The power situation has worsened in the wake of ongoing demand for energy from the farm sector as farmers are in the process of sowing paddy across the state in the ongoing kharif season. Power utility has committed to supplying eight hours of power to paddy growers. Before the start of the paddy sowing season, Punjab government had claimed to buy power worth Rs. 1,800 crore from other states in order to meet the increased demand for power from paddy growers.

Punjab has almost close 400 induction furnaces and rolling mills set up in Ludhiana and Mandi Gobindgarh. These mills cater to various industry verticals including construction, light engineering, auto parts, forging etc.