Tamil Nadu is facing unprecedented power shortage due to the lack of fresh generation capacities, thereby crippling industrialization. Only a couple of days ago, chief minister J Jayalalithaa had assured captains of industry, saying, "My government has seized the issue and we are taking efforts on a war-footing to correct the situation. Very soon, we will be able to make our state power surplus once again." At a thumb rule investment rate of Rs 4 crore per mega watt, the planned projects could bring in Rs 84,000 crore as fresh investments. A majority of the proposals are for setting up thermal plants, while a few are gas-based. And most projects have been proposed in and around Thoothukudi.
P Ramasamy, zonal deputy tahsildar of Ottapidaram taluk in Thoothukudi said the presence of a sea port was attracting prospective power generators to the district. "Availability of coal is no longer a problem. They can import coal from Indonesia easily. Thoothukudi is all set to become a power generating hub," he said.
Some proposed sites are Neidavasal in Nagapattinam district, Sirgazhi, Thoothukudi, Villupuram, Valuthur, Uthangal and Dharmapuri.
The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) is also gearing up with two thermal power plants, which can together generate up to 3,200MW. While work on one has started in Tirunelveli district, land has been identified for the other in Vayalur in Tiruvallur district, bordering Chennai. The 2x800 MW thermal power plant of TNEB in Udangudi, near Tirunelveli, has got all clearances, including that from the Union ministry of environment. "We are waiting for the coal linkage. Once it is done, we will be able to start the work and complete the project within a couple of years," said a senior TNEB official. The other plant will have two units generating 800MW each.
TNEB is preparing to get the necessary clearances for the Tiruvallur project. "Once we get all sanctions, we will go ahead with the project. The projects will become fully functional only by 2013," the official said.
Most of the private companies proposing to set up thermal and gas power plants are yet to acquire land or get environmental clearance, the official said. Though they planned to commission the projects in 2011, 2012 or 2013, "looking at the pace, it appears they will start only after 2013," another senior TNEB official said
Source- Times of India