Tamil Nadu to become a power-surplus State in 2014?

Chennai, Apr 25 (TruthDive): Tamil Nadu is set to become a power-surplus State soon, State chief Minister  Jayalalithaa said in the state Assembly today.

When Tamil Nadu is reeling under extended power cuts including 2-hour cuts in Chennai, with a power deficit to the tune of 4000 MW /day, the news comes as a breather for the power-starved State.

A string of power generation and allied development projects worth Rs. 20,000 crore, including a Rs. 7,000 crore underground hydel power station in Nilgiris district have been proposed.

Works for the 2,000 MW underground hydel power station to be commissioned at Sillahalla in Nilgiris district will  be done in two phases and  it could take 8-10 years for completion.

56 sub-stations in different parts of the state ranging  between 33 KV and 400 KV, at an estimated cost of Rs. 8,000 crore are also planned to be established, said Jayalalithaa.

Additionally, the Japanese government has come forward to shore up infrastructure projects worth over Rs 7,000 crore, which will be taken up by the subsidiaries of TNEB.

Earlier, Tamil Nadu government has said Rs 21,000 crore  worth power projects will be rolled out  to address the current and future demand for electricity.

Jayalalithaa noted that it is not adequate just to  set up new power projects but they have to be strengthened with proper distribution and transmission infrastructure too for which  projects valued at Rs 5,000 crore will be taken up across the state. Rs 3,572 crore will be raised as debt from the Japanese Corporation to fund this project, that comes with special discount interest of 0.55% every year and repayable in 30 years.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) would finance another Rs 2,750 crore to set up five substations with 400 KW and to develop transmission lines. These substations will come at Guindy, Koratur, Manali and in Coimbatore.

The Japanese Corporation’s assistance appears to be a bright spark for Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd (TANGEDCO) that is sitting on a heavy debt of Rs.45,000 crore and left with no resource  to strengthen its power sources.

The key reasons for the power crisis which Tamil Nadu is going through is claimed to have been passed on by the previous DMK regime. TNEB was bogged down with a whopping debt of Rs. 53,000 crore  when AIADMK assumed power in Tamil Nadu.

Jayalalithaa said, in the last two years, the state government has commenced projects which can generate 606.5 MW and already announced expansion projects at Ennore, Udangudi, and Ramanathapuram.

The new projects put forward by Tamil Nadu government will cater to 85% of the current shortage and for the  remaining, 1000 MW of power will have to be purchased from the open market for the next 15 years, said the Chief Minister.

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