Guwahati, Aug. 31: The Asian Development Bank is helping Dispur prepare a master plan for its power sector to create a road map for development.
The technical assistance cleared by the bank this month is aimed at carrying out an up-to-date electricity demand for Assam and preparing a master plan for electricity network development upto 2020.
“The master plan is expected to be finished around the end of March 2013,” a source said.
Technical assistance is a vital element of the bank’s development strategy, through which it helps its member countries in identifying, formulating, and implementing projects.
The bank held consultations with Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) and Dispur before finalising the technical assistance.
The source said the plan will be the basis of the proposed investment programme for the power sector in the state for 2014, and thus facilitate the completion of design, cost estimates and due diligence for project processing.
An assistance of $300 million has been earmarked in the loan pipeline agreed between ADB and the Centre, which finds mention in the country operations business plan for 2012-2014.
The bank in its report stated that after 2008, no systematic and comprehensive load forecast and power system master plans have been undertaken in Assam and a comprehensive load forecast and power system master plan to provide a blueprint for development of the system is required.
“The proposed master plan will coordinate generation, transmission and distribution expansions and ensure that all proposed capital investments are not ad hoc but a part of the long-term structured plan that will serve the requirements not only of Assam but also the neighbouring states,” the report said.
The bank has approved and disbursed a total of $450 million for the power sector for helping the state in electricity sector unbundling and transmission and distribution and expressed happiness with the implementation of the projects.
The North Eastern Regional Power Committee has forecast that the average demand requirement of Assam is 1177.91MW while the average power supply would be 876MW in 2012-13. The road map will also consider the transmission capacity requirement of the neighbouring states.
Experts will develop a series of load forecast scenarios for the short and long term and conduct on-the-job and classroom-based training of electricity board staff in modern load forecast techniques and tools. The assistance will help improve the capacity of power sector agencies in demand forecasting and investment planning.
ADB will review the state electricity board’s current approach to power system (generation, transmission, and distribution) planning, identify and analyse the links between state, regional, and national planning.