The shortage of coal for running thermal power plants in the state is beginning to show its effects with the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) imposing a 12-hour cut on the induction furnace industry from Monday.
The chief engineer (power purchase and regulation), PSPCL, in a circular issued on December 2, said that due to shortage of coal, the department had decided to impose power cuts on induction furnace units from 9 am to 9 pm. The cuts will remain in force till further orders.
As per the directions, induction furnace units can use only 10% of the power sanctioned to them from 9 am to 6 pm. The department has also withdrawn the peak-hour exemption from 6 pm to 9 pm given to some induction furnace units. The industry will be allowed to use only 10% of the sanctioned power during this time period as well.
These units can, however, use full sanctioned power from 9 pm to 9 am. They are free to purchase power through open access during the restricted period.
The decision has not gone down well with the induction furnace industry, which is already facing the brunt of economic slowdown.
Pankaj Gupta, owner of an induction furnace unit in Jalandhar, said the cuts would have an adverse impact on small induction furnace units, which cannot operate at night. "The PSPCL should have given exemption to small furnace units which consume less than 1,000 KW power," he said.
All-India Induction Furnace Association senior vice-president Sandeep Jain, however, said the power cuts would not affect the industry as it was already going through a lean patch due to the global economic slowdown. "Our production is already down to half," he said.
However, the North India Induction Furnace Association general secretary said the power cuts would badly affect the industry as the production would come down to half in the absence of regular electricity supply.