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TN electricity department not for power cuts

Chennai, Oct 10 (IANS) Even as the Kerala state electricity board has said that it is contemplating power cuts and restricted usage of electricity, its counterpart, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd (Tangedo) has announced that it would not recommend a power cut for the time being.

With 70 per cent of power generation in the country being thermal power, the shortage of coal has created power crisis in many North Indian states. The southern states have also entered into power purchase agreements with these northern power producers.

Tangedco has its own thermal power generation plants and according to its senior officials, it has enough coal to generate power for the next 11 days. Officials said that the department is getting coal though in lesser quantities.

There are thermal plants in North Chennai, Mettur and Tuticorin which generate power in Tamil Nadu, and the raw material, coal, is made available to these plants from Mahanadhi Coalfields limited and Singareni Collieries Company Ltd. The coal supplied by these two companies are used for the generation of power from the five thermal power stations of Tamil Nadu.

A senior officer of Tangedco told IANS, "As the monsoon season is on in Tamil Nadu, the power consumption would be less compared to summer period and if Coal India maintains the quantity that it supplies to us presently, then we may sail through without inflicting a power cut in the state."

Sources also said that Tangedco is also purchasing power at higher rates -- power is purchased at the rate of even Rs 17 per unit in Tamil Nadu and about 15 million units of power is being purchased.

The officials also said that power generation companies that had signed agreement with Tangedco for supply of 3500 MW of power on a long and medium-term basis are also struggling to keep their commitments due to shortage of coal.

However, Tangedco officials maintained that the state would have normal production of power in the days to come with the stock of coal and if acute shortage of coal happens, then it may have to discuss with the power department and the ministry for further action.