Shinde calls meet to review capacity addition

Written by Sanjay Jog | Mumbai | Updated: Nov 5 2009, 04:28am hrs
In view of slippage in the generation capacity addition by power utilities, the power ministry will convene a meeting with state governments on November 15 to review and work out an action plan. The Centre is expected to discuss the proposed amendment to the Electricity Act, 2003 so that states would not exercise their powers under Section 11 to curb open access in transmission.

Even though the capacity addition of 78,700 mw has been proposed, the actual addition will be around 60,000-65,000 mw by end of 11th Plan. During April 2007 and September 2009, against the capacity addition target of 33,858.40 mw, the actual capacity has been 16,707.40 mw leaving a gap of 16,708.70 mw. There was also slippage in the 5,653 mw capacity addition target in the first 100 days of the government. Power minister Sushilkumar Shinde told FE, "A meeting is being convened with state governments to review the progress made to add generation capacity, implementation of revised accelerated power development and reform programme and Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana. States at the meeting held on June 23 were told to complete the necessary formalities for ordering balance of plants (BOPs)."

Power ministry sources said despite the Centre's advice, there have been delays in the placement of orders for civil works and BOPs and also delay in non-sequential supply of material for main plant and BOPs. This is despite the fact that orders for main plant equipment in respect of 80,610 mw capacity is being monitored by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) for commissioning during 11th Plan have been placed.

Despite Centre's repeated missives, there was slow pace in the development of coal blocks by central, state and private sector utilities. CEA has recently suggested that forest clearance be obtained for the mining project before obtaining approval for mining from the coal ministry. Besides, in-principle approval for prospecting bidder may be given by the coal ministry along with allocation of mines to avoid time taken in obtaining the same after allocation. There was a need for an integrated development of rail network for both Coal India and captive coal blocks.

The power ministry would also call upon states to expedite environment and forest clearance for the identified power generation, transmission and mining projects planned for commissioning during the 12th plan. A capacity addition of 1 lakh mw is being proposed during 12th Plan.