It could be a summer of discontent for industries and consumers in Maharashtra, one of India’s most industrialized states, and home to the country’s commercial capital Mumbai.
Despite the government and private power producers arranging an additional supply of 700MW of power, the shortage in peak season is expected to increase from the current figure of 4,400-4,500MW to 5,400-5,500MW.
“We are finalizing the load-shedding protocol, which will determine how much load shedding should be done and where,” said Pramod Deo, chairman, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission.
Suburban areas of Mumbai, such as Mulund and Bhandup, are already facing daily power cuts up to three-four hours. The number is higher at six-seven hours in other parts of the state. Meanwhile, companies responsible for supplying power to the state and to the city of Mumbai are preparing for days of chronic shortage by going shopping for power.
State-owned Maharashtra State Power Generation Co. Ltd (MahaGenco), with an installed capacity of around 9,600MW, hopes to be ready to supply the lion’s share of the extra power required by April.
“We will be getting (an additional) 250MW from our Parli plant and another 250MW from Paras. We also managed to buy some (natural) gas for our Uran plant. So this plant will produce an additional 100MW by the end April,” said a MahaGenco official.
Tata Power Company (TPC), which produces 1,777MW that is sold largely in Mumbai, is also trying to augment its supply. It is working with Reliance Energy and Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking to find alternative sources of power, say officials.
“We are looking at states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka for power,” says a spokesperson for TPC. The utility also plans to route 50MW from its Jojobera (Jharkhand) plant to the city.