India’s power generation capacity rises by 45%
The installed capacity in the power sector in the country has recorded a phenomenal growth from 1,23,901 MW in January 2006 to 1,77,135 MW in June 2011 which is around 45%, said Minister of power Sushilkumar Shinde while addressing the members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry in New Delhi.
He said a capacity of 37,971 MW has already been commissioned during the 11th Plan till June 2011 which is more than 180% of the capacity added during the entire 10th Plan i.e. 21,180 MW. He added that during the year 2010-11, India have synchronized a capacity of 15,795 MW and 12,160 MW has achieved full load which is the highest capacity addition in a single year during the last 60 years.
Shinde said that to further accelerate the capacity addition, Government has created a unique initiative in the form of Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPPs) for procurement of power through Tariff Based Competitive Bidding Process. Each such project has a capacity of about 4,000 MW. He said that so far, 16 such UMPPs have been identified, out of which 4 UMPPs have already been awarded.
The Minister said that the Government has also initiated development of large Transmission Systems through private sector participation in the lines of UMPPs. “Eleven such Independent Transmission Projects have been identified by the Empowered Committee to be developed, out of which already 6 have been awarded and 5 more are in the pipeline,” he added.
Highlighting the role of the Power Finance Corporation (PFC), Shinde said that it has played a central role in the whole process by supporting capacity addition of 31,462 MW during the 11th Plan and has already supported 48,573 MW so far for the 12th Plan. Additionally, PFC is taking forward important initiatives of the Government of India being the nodal agency for UMPPs and the Bid Process Coordinator of certain Independent Transmission Projects.
Regarding the fund requirement for the capacity addition envisaged in the 11th plan, the Minister said that it is estimated to be about Rs10.60 lakh crore. However, the estimated fund from all available sources is only Rs6.4 lakh crore. Therefore, he said that there is a funding gap of about 40%, which is equivalent to Rs4.2 lakh crore.
Shinde said that the PFC is playing a critical role in addressing the key issues of large fund requirement of power sector. “In a span of 25 years, it has cumulatively sanctioned loans of Rs3.46 lakh crore and disbursed loans of Rs1.73 lakh crore to power sector and currently has a loan asset size of about Rs1 lakh crore,” he added.
The Minister of Power said that the other key concern of power sector has been the high AT & C losses. In order to reduce these losses the Government of India launched APDRP in 10th Plan, which aimed at reforming the power distribution sector by providing investment and incentives to State Power Utilities. Shinde added that the PFC has supported this scheme through counterpart funding by sanction of Rs2,273 crore and disbursement of Rs1,739 crore. In July, 2008, Government of India had launched Restructured APDRP with an objective to reduce AT&C losses below 15% and the PFC is the Nodal Agency for operationalising the scheme. Further, till March, 2011 cumulatively PFC has sanctioned, an amount of Rs21,821 crore under the R-APDRP and correspondingly an amount of Rs3,903 crore has been disbursed. He said that the benefit of this scheme in terms of reduction in AT&C losses will start to roll out in about a year.