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No power cuts expected in city this summer

The 43 lakh power consumers in Mumbai can expect uninterrupted electricity supply at no additional cost this summer.

mumbai Updated: Feb 21, 2012 01:30 IST
Dharmendra Jore

The 43 lakh power consumers in Mumbai can expect uninterrupted electricity supply at no additional cost this summer.

The demand for power peaks during summers, and in the past few years, this has led to a shortage crisis across Maharashtra.

The demand for power in Mumbai (including Mira-Bhayander) last June, when heat and humidity saw the maximum number of air-conditioners being switched on, was 3,200 mega watts (MW) daily. The city's four distributors expect this demand to rise by 8% to 10% this summer and have already made arrangements to meet the requirement.

It is estimated that Mumbai will need 3,300MW to 3,600MW of electricity this summer.

All four firms - suburban distributor Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) with the largest consumer base of 26 lakh, island city distributor Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) with 10 lakh customers, Tata Power with more than 2 lakh consumers and the state-owned Mahavitaran that caters to 5 lakh consumers in the eastern suburbs - have signed contracts to purchase electricity at rates lower than last year. Tata Power's supply costs are the lowest as it has its own generation plant.

Consumers of Mahavitaran, who have had to face load-shedding consistently during the summer months, can expect better service this year as the company has a zero load-shedding scheme in place.

Industry sources said procuring extra power would not be as expensive as it has been in the past as power generation across the country has improved.

RInfra, which buys all but 500MW, which comes from its Dahanu plant, said it would have no trouble drawing another 150MW to 200MW. "We have the necessary tie-ups [purchase agreements] to cater to our area of distribution," said RInfra spokesperson. The firm has also upgraded its transmission network by using the state company Mahatransco's corridor.

The Tata Power Company is comfortable as it has stopped supplying power to RInfra and has an all-India generation capacity of more than 3,100MW. Of this, it sells around 900MW to the BEST and uses the rest for its own retail and bulk consumers across the country. "A shortfall can be met through short-term purchases and our Lodhivali station and Trombay unit can be used to overcome transmission constraints," said a Tata Power spokesperson.