The Power Ministry will soon place for Cabinet approval the draft of a National Hydro Power Policy that aims to boost hydro-electric power generation, Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on Wednesday.
Shinde said the key challenge for the Power Ministry was to help sustain the gross domestic product growth of 9.4 per cent achieved in 2006-07 with a matching growth in the power sector. "In practical terms, this means not only overcoming the current shortages of approximately 13,717 megawatts, or 13.4 per cent of the requirement, but also to increase generating capacity thereafter by 9 to 10 per cent," he said at an industry event by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
Speaking on the need for production facilities to come up fast, Shinde said joint ventures should be given a thrust to meet the demand for equipment from power generating companies. With more than 78,000 megawatts of power to be generated in the next five years, private sector suppliers should seize the opportunity, he said.
"The shortage of power equipment (like turbines and boilers) to meet the requirements of generating companies is worrisome," Shinde said.
The minister said Central power utilities such as Bhart Heavy Electricals (BHEL) do not have the requisite capacity to manufacture equipment of the size and magnitude required, and added that the challenge was not only to generate Rs 10 lakh crore of investments in the 11th Five-year Plan, but also to find the institutions, the companies, project managers, workers and vendors to implement the investments.
He said it was imperative to ensure hat the current high levels of aggregate technical and commercial losses should come down to 15 per cent in the next five years.