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Shinde urges power firms to streamline costs

Shinde urges the industry to explore less capital-intensive alternatives for power generation and implement them in a comparatively shorter time, reports Deepak Joshi.
Hindustan Times | By Deepak Joshi, New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 05, 2007 09:08 PM IST

Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Friday urged the industry to explore less capital-intensive alternatives for power generation and implement them in a comparatively shorter time. He said this was crucial to achieve the ambitious goal of power for all by 2012, and to increase per capita availability of power to over 1,000 units.

Though difficult, the target is achievable, he said, adding that an additional capacity of 78,000 MW was required in the 11th Plan.

Addressing the India Energy Summit in New Delhi, Shinde said, "The optimum utilisation of existing installed capacity in the country to maximise generation through renovation and modernisation of existing power plants has been considered to be the most cost-effective option."

The minister said that besides capacity addition, steps were being taken to increase availability by a reduction in transmission and distribution losses, efficiency and demand side management, captive plants, renewable energy sources and technology upgradation through research and development.

Shinde said the main reasons for slippages of projects during the 10th Plan were delays in placement of orders for main plants, delay in awarding work and in investment decisions, environment and forest clearances, lack of preparedness of projects, delay in transfer of technology arrangements by BHEL and techno-economic clearance of hydro-projects.

"In order to avoid slippages while planning for capacity addition during the 11th Plan, efforts have been made to ensure timely ordering of Plan projects and tight monitoring," he added.

Public sector utility GAIL India mooted the creation of a CNG-corridor across the country to cut carbon emissions and save Rs 60,000 crore in the oil bill. "India has a 8,000-km cross-country pipeline network, and city gas distribution projects supplying CNG to automobiles can be created in cities falling on pipeline network," GAIL Chairman and MD UD Choubey said.

The city gas networks in Delhi and Mumbai can be replicated in a number of cities to save Rs 60,000 crore in the fuel bill, he said. The use of environmental-friendly CNG in automobiles will also cut carbon emissions contributing to green house gases.

"There are 400 CNG dispensing stations in the country already and many more could be set up. What is required is an integrated effort by all the stakeholders," he added. Choubey stressed the need for legislation that mandates the use of CNG in all automobiles as was done in the transport sector in Delhi.

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