'Power house' NE ready for turnaround in power sector

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Guwahati, Apr 7 (UNI) The power and energy sector in North East (NE) will witness an investment of over Rs 2,00,000 crore by 2017 to reverse the deficit status of the region and place it in a position to supply power elsewhere in the country within the next few years.

The transmission, sub-transmission and distribution system in the region will be thrust areas, with a plan of allocating base load thermal power from eastern states to NE in lieu of power from the hydro stations in the region to meet the deficit NE faces during non-monsoon season.

At present, the region has total installed capacity of 2,321 MW, with the region, including Sikkim, accounting for 39.5 per cent of the country's hydro electric potential.

The region has a power supply deficit to the tune of 22.7 per cent during peak demand period as per 2007-08 figures against the all India deficit of 17.1 per cent. In case of energy supply position also, NE has a deficit of 20 per cent against the national 15.8 per cent.

As per data available on actual power demand and supply during 2006-07, among the NE states, Meghalaya recorded the highest deficit of 33.1 per cent, followed by Tripura with 16 per cent, Arunachal Pradesh with 12.6 per cent and Assam with 10,8 per cent, with the total deficit percentage for region being 21.1.

At present the NE has 57 per cent capacity from hydro projects in state and central sector. The balance comes from thermal projects including diesel, gas and coal based ones.

Most of the diesel/coal projects are not operational in NE, while in case of hydro projects during the lean hydro months, from september to March, the inflow is less and the power generation is to the order of 40 per cent only.

In severe winter months like January, the generation is as low as 14 per cent and the region faces the peak requirement during November to February, leading to severe power deficit.

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