GUWAHATI: Assam Power Distribution Corporation Ltd (APDCL) will have to hike the electricity tariff by Re 1 per unit for the purchase of additional 700 MW power from “open source” to meet the electricity demand during peak hours (5 pm to 10 pm).
The state’s electricity demand during peak hours has gone up from 1800 MW to 2500 MW during this year.
“However, the State Cabinet will review the whole situation on September 8 and issue a necessary directive to APDCL,” Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said addressing a press conference here on Wednesday.
“There is talk of load shedding in the state. I reviewed the situation. Earlier, electricity demand during the peak hours was 1800 MW. But, we generate and purchase 1650 MW. This year the electricity demand during peak hours has gone up to 2500 MW. It was not within our apprehension”, Sarma said.
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“We have some tied-up power agreements. But the thing is that if we sign an agreement with a company it will take a minimum of three years to get electricity from them. It takes a long gestation period,” Sarma also said.
“When there is high power demand we purchase power from open source. The rate of electricity is Rs 10 per MW. We have to purchase 700 MW of electricity from open source to meet the demand in peak hours and supply electricity constantly to the people. We have to pay Rs 6 crore daily. We will need Rs 720 crore additionally for the purchase of electricity for four months,” Sarma further said.
“That is why APDCL has to hike the tariff by Re 1 if they want to supply electricity to the people constantly. We will review the entire decision in the state cabinet meeting on September 8 and issue necessary directives to the APDCL,” he said.
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“We may also restrict peak time demand up to 2000 MW by allowing load shedding for 10 to 15 minutes. We want to suffer collectively for it. But if the people want 24 hours constant electricity then we have to hike the tariff,” the Chief Minister also said.
“There are two factors for the increase of electricity demand in the state. Firstly, 50 MW of power is used for railway electrification works. Secondly, due to the rapid industrialization of the state, power demands go up. It was beyond our apprehension,” the Chief Minister further said.
“But in the next year, Neyveli Uttar Pradesh Power Ltd (NUPPL) will supply 260 MW from the NUPPL’s 3×660 MW Ghatampur Thermal Power Plant. If Subansiri Lower Hydro Electricity Project commissions, we will receive 500 MW from them. It will improve our power situation,” he also said.
The Chief Minister added that the power received from the solar power plants can’t meet the demand in peak hours. Because these units supply power from 10 am to 3 pm from sunrise to sunset.
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