DARK DAYS AHEAD!

POWER FAMINE WOULD ENGULF ORISSA BEFORE END OF THIS DECADE

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The preening prince of Bijudom, like his boastful father, is pushing Orissa into a dark horizon and if no remedial steps are taken, the State shall plunge into an endless power famine before end of this decade.

I do not know if Naveen Patnaik has the ability to understand what is happening to Orissa. No Chief Minister of Orissa was ever so afraid of the people. He is on records to have confessed this in the Assembly during his reply to the motion on Kalinga Nagar massacre when he said that he can visit that blood-strained soil only after normalcy is restored. I do not know if he understands that the abnormality he is so afraid of is his own creation. It is created by his pledging Orissa to the 54 mega industrial projects under implementation support. These projects are preconditioned to reduction of the status of our people from independent farmers to that of dependent laborers. The illiterate tribals who have been braving bullets at Kalinga Nagar have understood this. The marginal farmers who have been opposing POSCO in the coastal belt of Jagatsingpur have understood this. The uneducated masses of men and women in interior Orissa have understood this. Lady protege of Biju Patnaik, Tulsi Munda, who has a tribal tongue, not only has understood this, but also has told of this to Naveen Patnaik in no uncertain terms. If he could not understand her version, because she told this in Oriya, then the words of the illustrious and apolitical mouthpiece of displaced people of the country, Medha Patkar, who told in Hindi and English that the autonomous social groups of self-employed farmers should not be forced by the State to seek survival as slaves under private industries, were not difficult to understand. But Naveen Patnaik has failed to understand this. He has failed to understand the single most important fact that he and his cronies cannot be more patriot than others; cannot be the only seekers of Orissa prosperity juxtaposed to others. The 54 barons of private industries are all outsiders, who, by birth do not belong to Orissa. Shareholders of these industries do not belong to Orissa. The persons, who will fetch the profits of these industries, do not belong to Orissa. But for them Naveen Patnaik is denuding the people of Orissa of their ancestral and traditional sources of livelihood. Therefore, I am not sure, if he has the ability to understand what ails Orissa.

Against this backdrop, let us proceed to see why I venture the apprehension of power famine. I will place facts from official records to the best of my ability without compromising my professional commitment.

Present position

Orissa at present is endowed with an installed generating capacity of 3520 MW with all generation available from Hydro and Thermal Units in State Sector as well as Orissa share from Hydro and Thermal Units of the Central Sector from which Firm Power Availability is of the order of 1827 MW with an annual energy flow of 16000 MU to the State Grid. It is observed from the System Performance Report of January 2006 prepared by State Load Despatch Centre (SLDC) that the Orissa system has witnessed the peak demand of 2408 MW and an average demand of 1757 MW during January 2006, leaving a surplus of about 70 MW only.

Future pressure

But the scenario shall soon change.

The National Rural Electrification Policies (NREP) circulated by Government of India during December, 2005 envisaged that 100% households in all 46000 villages in the State of Orissa are to be effected with power supply by 2009. After detailed exercise, the four Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) have projected the following additional requirement on account of NREP agency wise: (All in MW) SESCO: 549, WESCO: 495, SOUTHCO: 225, NESCO: 360, totaling 1629 MWs.

This shows that the additional demand on account of NREP is 1629 MW. Considering the present T&D loss of 40% and at 80% availability, the installed generating capacity required to cater to this additional demand of NREP will be of the order of 3394 MW which is to be added to the Orissa Power System by 2009.

Industrial impact

As per Press Release of IPICOL dated 26.01.2006, as many as 44 Companies have signed MoU with Govt. of Orissa to set up Steel Projects and 3 Companies have signed MoU to set up Allumina Projects in the State. The year wise power requirement for the above industries which have signed MoU with Govt. of Orissa is indicated to be 243 MW in 2006-07, 301 MW in 2007-08, 336 MW in 2008-09, 336 MW in 2009-10 totaling 1216 MW for the industries already committed by GRIDC/OPTCL; 286 MW in 2006-07, 413 MW in 2007-08, 510 MW in 2008-09, 630 MW in 2009-10 and 703 MW in 2010-11 for the industries that have already applied for power to GRIDCO/OPCTL, which is under their active consideration. Over and above this, by 2010-11, an additional requirement of 633 MW is also indicated for industries already bound by MoU pending application to GRIDCO/OPTCL.

Thus the additional demand on account of the aforesaid up coming industries is about 4391 MW. Considering the Transmission Loss of 4% in EHT system and 80% availability, the installed capacity required to cater to the aforesaid additional demand of the industries will be about 5717 MW which is to be added to Orissa Power System by 2010-11.

The above scenario makes it clear that the additional installed capacity on account of NREP and that of industries to be added to the Orissa Power System will be about 9000 MW by 2010-11 in order to fully cater to the demand of the upcoming industries in the State as well as to effect power supply to 100% households as projected by DISCOMs in the State under Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidhyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY). From the above analysis, it is revealed that from the year 2006-07 onwards even with normal monsoon and full hydro availability, the State will face deficit in power supply unless additional capacity is added to meet the demand.

But the requirement will not rest with this. As the G.D.P. is poised for a 8% growth, the power demand of the State will ask for expansion at par with that from the pavement of the already envisaged additional need of 9000MW as discussed above.

Is Naveen Patnaik’s government ready for this? No. Not at all.

I do not find any instance in history to compare with the nonchalance maintained by Naveen in such a situation. On the one hand, he has been pledging the State to mega industrial projects in the private sector with assurance of power supply but on the other hand, he has been paying a deaf ear to techno-judicial advice for enhancement of power generation.

As I watch a communication from the Chairman of Orissa Elecricity Regulatory Commission, dated 20 May 2005, bearing D.O.No. 812, which he had preferred to the State Government invoking his authority under Section 86(2)(iv) of Electricity Act,2003, I see to what extent this government is recalcitrant.

The OERC, in this D.O. served on the energy secretary, has cautioned the government that unless urgent steps are taken to create additional generation capacity to meet the demand, the State will face deficit in power supply from 2007-08 onwards even in the condition of good monsoon and full hydro availability.

This warning of OERC has gone unheeded to.

Ever since Naveen Patnaik has taken over reigns of the State, not a single MW in generation capacity has been added to Orissa Power System.

Vision 2010 derailed

By the time Naveen took over, Government of Orissa had addressed itself to preparation of Vision 2010 document for power based on the Fuel Map of India prepared by Central Electricity Authority. It materialized in 2001. In this document, target was fixed for generation of 7880 MW in 6 new Thermal projects and 738 MW through 6 new Hydel projects in addition to existing facilities.

In the Thermal sector, 3960 MW generation was tagged to Stage-1 of Hirma Power Project with emphasis on completion of the project between 2002 and 2007. Similarly AES was to complete Unit 5 & 6 of IB Valley within the same period and generate 500MW at the rate of 250 MW each; OPGC , 420 MW by completing Unit 3&4; KPCL, 500MW at Duburi; the Project at Naraj, 500MW in two units at the rate of 250 MW and NTPC, 1000 MW at Kaniha. All these projects were to be completed by 2007 beginning test generation in 2002. Another project for generation of further 1000 MW at Kaniha was to be completed between 2007 and 2012. Orissa is most suitable for Thermal Power generation with about 46,000 Million Tonnes of Power Grade Coal awaiting utilization in two coal fields located in Talcher and Ib Valley areas. This excellent deposit of coal can sustain Thermal generation of 1,00,000 MW for a period of 100 years. But despite such supporting resources, and notwithstanding the targets under Vision 2010, Naveen Patnaik’s Government has not added a single MW generation capacity to what the earlier governments had built up even though his ultra enthusiast allying with industry has threatened to eat away entirely whatever power is being generated at present.

Analyzing the scenario Energy Experts and Power Specialists portend frequent power cut from 2007 and severe power famine in Orissa from 2009.

Dark days ahead! Please take note of it.

15 comments » Write a comment

  1. your article on dark days ahead in orissa is definitely an eye opener but unfortunately
    it hardly will bother them who must be bothered the most, since they well know
    they may not be here to face the tragedy of the people then. all they are interested
    is today and how many MOUs signed and for that how much is dropped into their kitty

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