The much-awaited commissioning of the Koodankulam nuclear plant and Neyveli thermal expansion units could contribute in a big way to tide over the power crisis as these Central projects together could provide 1,250 MW.
“The Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project is very much like the illusory deer in Ramayana,” an official said when asked about the likely commencement of power production in the plant.
“The project has been delayed inordinately because of a host of reasons, including the non-availability of fuel. Tamil Nadu is set to get 925 to 985 MW as share when both the (2 x 1000) units go on stream. According to indications, the first unit may become operational by the end of this year and the next one could begin functioning by August or September next.”
Another Central project that is much awaited is the expansion units of the Neyveli Thermal Station (NTS-II, Units 1 and 2, 2 x 250 MW) through which the State would be entitled to 325 MW when it becomes operational.
Officials say power production is likely in June or July as ‘almost’ everything is complete.
Though there are several other projects in the pipeline like the TNEB-BHEL thermal plant at Udangudi, Ennore Annexe (1 x 600 MW), Kattupalli TPS at Tiruvallur (2 x 800 MW), and the Cheyyur Ultra Mega power project of 4,000 MW, these are planned to meet the growth in demand in the next few years and are likely to be commissioned by the end of the 12th plan period (2012-17) and would not help overcome the crisis in the short run.