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Private power firms flock to west, south

Anil Sasi in New Delhi | October 25, 2003 11:58 IST

Private power companies have overwhelmingly selected the western and southern states for investments, completely ignoring the northern states.

Independent Power Producers make up for nearly 20 per cent of the installed generation capacity in the western states and 13.6 per cent of the installed capacity in the southern states.

Compared to this, the private sector is responsible for just 0.3 per cent of the total installed capacity in the northern states.

The northern and southern regions have an installed capacity of 28,087 Mw and 26,954 Mw respectively. The western region has 29.4 per cent (31,395 Mw) of the total installed capacity.

The eastern region has 15.5 per cent share (16,191 Mw) and the North-east has 2.2 per cent (2,241 Mw) of the total installed generation capacity of around 1,05,000 Mw.

"The conducive investment policies of the western states, like Gujarat and Maharashtra, and southern states, like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, have been largely responsible for higher investments by the private sector.

"The bankability of the State Electricity Boards in the two regions has also been a factor," a power ministry official said. The share of the states in the total installed capacities of the north, south and the west is the roughly the same at 59.7 per cent, 60 per cent and 63.9 per cent respectively.

The state sector makes up for 47.4 per cent and 47.5 per cent respectively of the total installed capacities in the east and the Northeast regions.

With private investments difficult to come by, it is the central sector that plugged in the gap for the northern states, with 40 per cent share in the installed capacity of the region.

In comparison, central utilities make up for a much lower 20.6 per cent and 22.5 per cent of the installed capacities in the west and south respectively.

The private sector comprises small IPPs with an average capacity of around 300 MW and operates about 11 per cent of the overall installed capacity.

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