The Kerala government on 04-02-2009 gave its nod to set up a 2,400 MW coal based thermal power plant in the state to meet future demand of power. Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said the plant at Cheemeni in Kasargode district in north Kerala would be a joint venture of the state-owned Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation(KSIDC) and the Kerala State Electricity Board(KSEB).
'The plant would come up on a 2,400-acre plot of land that is currently being owned by the Plantation Corporation at Cheemeni,' Achuthanandan told reporters. Kerala faces acute shortage of electricity supply these days.The State’s due from the Central pool a day is 1,041 MW, but this has been swinging between 600 and 700 MW in recent months and was further slashed to 400 MW. At present, the overall power consumption in the State is averaging 42 million units a day, which is about 7 million units above the normal.
Already half hour load shedding exists in the state. Comparing with other south Indian states, intensity of power crisis is less in Kerala. But the Government is planning to meet the future demand by increasing power generation. Out of 2,700 MW of electricity required only 2,200 MW are available.
Weak monsoon has tripped its surplus position in hydel power, produced at just 85 paise per unit. KSEB has signed up for a 1000 MW coal-powered thermal power station in Orissa, but this will be commissioned only 5 years later. Even after clamping 30-minutes across-the-board loadshedding and 20% power restriction on HT and EHT power consumers, the Board is unable to cope with the demand pressures.