Malik plans to wheel in excess power

| 29 October 1998 10:14 IST

Goa government's latest plan to sell its unutilised excess power left with the National Thermal Power Corporation to any private firm may not come true, while the tourist state may also not need too many private power projects, which are allowed to be set up by inviting bids.

Power minister Sadanand Malik, who agreed to the proposal of selling excess power at chief minister Dr Wilfred de Souza's insistence, has already chalked out plans to wheel in the excess power within 14 months. Secondly, the NTPC's approval for the proposal is still a question mark.

The tourist state is presently undergoing acute power shortage, due to which even the high court has banned any new connections to the industrial units any more till the power situation improves in the state. Against 220 MW drawn from western and southern grids, Goa's present uninterrupted requirement is 258 MW.

The ongoing load shedding and unannounced shutdowns may however stop once the state's first 50 MW private project of the Salgaoncar Reliance Pvt Ltd is commissioned by November end, making up the existing requirement. "We may go for one or two more such projects as a stop-gap arrangement", states Malik.

Meanwhile, the state was planning to sell the excess power of 50 MW, left idle with the western grid for so many years, by inviting competitive bids from private parties. The decision was taken based on a proposal put forth by Bombay-based Fusion Technologies Pvt Ltd to sell it outright, offering to pay Rs 4.38 crore to the tourist state, at the rate of 10 paise per unit.

Though Goa is allotted 294 MW from the western grid besides 100 MW more from the southern grid, it has no capacity to draw more than 220 MW from the western grid, coming from MP and Gujarat, while 25 per cent of it already gets reduced due to plant load factors and auxiliary consumption. The remaining 50 MW is the excess power being planned to be sold.

However, Malik has simultaneously worked out a plan to install two 50 MVA transformers, spending around Rs 15 crore, to draw the excess power from the western grid. While the first one is expected to be commissioned by December '99, the second one would start functioning four months later.

Though bids are being planned to be invited only for one year to sell the excess power, power department officials here feel the process of inviting competitive bids itself would take minimum one year, after which going ahead with its plans would be useless once both the transformers are commissioned.

The government, on the other hand, is also expecting another 400 KV sub-station coming up at Colvale in North Goa by 2001, drawing another 120 MW from Kolhapur, where the whole system is being presently upgraded.

The state is also expecting minimum additional 50 MW from the Kaiga Nuclear Power Corporation, set up across the Goa border in Karnataka, taking the grand total to 490 MW, including the 50 MW generated by the private power plant. Goa may thus not go for too many private projects, as was planned by the erstwhile Congress government.

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