While some state-owned power stations are shut for annual maintenance, fuel shortage has dogged one of the largest power stations in the state – the Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private Limited (RGPPL) – for the past 11 months.
Alarmed by the current shortage and the growth in demand of power in the next three months owing to the upcoming festival season, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan met Union petroleum minister Jaipal Reddy on Sunday to urge him to allot RGPPL more gas from the Reliance Krishna Godavari basin and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation. The state’s power distribution company, Mahavitaran, depends significantly on RGPPL for power because of the latter’s 1967-megawatt capacity. However, the plant has not been able to generate its optimum amount of power since October 2011. And if the shortage continues, it might dent the government’s plan to make the state power-cut free by December 2012.
Currently RGPPL, which is also known as the Dabhol project, generates about 570-580MW every day as it only gets a third of its daily fuel requirement.
On Monday, Mahavitaran faced a shortage of 1000-1500 MW, which Dabhol’s full supply could have plugged. Last week, a shortage in the supply of power from Dabhol added to consumer woes when large parts of the state faced prolonged power cuts.
A senior Mahavitaran official said that they could have mitigated the shortage had Dabhol generated power to its full capacity. And since Dabhol power is cheaper than sources that supply short-term power to the state company, this would also have reduced the burden on consumers.
The dipping levels in reservoirs that generate hydropower have also become a concern and state-owned thermal power stations have been getting wet coal, which hampers generation quantity.