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Power woes for 3 months

Durgapur, Jan. 22: Power supply from Durgapur Projects Limited (DPL) to several industries will be intermittent for at least three months as the cable snapped by thieves on Sunday will need three “joining kits” that will have to be imported at Rs 8 lakh each, officials said.

The 132KV cable that was cut by the thieves used to carry power through one of the two DPL transformers, which bring down the voltage of electricity that is supplied to and from the plant.

“The 132KVA cable of our 160MVA transformer was installed in 2006 by a Chinese company keeping in mind our future plans of setting up more generation units. The Chinese company, Dongfang, had used a cable manufactured by a Malaysian company. The joining kits are made in Sweden and the US,” a senior DPL official said.

“We need to arrange for Rs 24 lakh to buy the three kits. But we are facing a financial crisis,” the official said, adding that the process could take at least three months.

Several industrial units have cut down on production because of the intermittent electricity supply.

The chairman of the West Bengal State Electricity Development Corporation Limited (WBSEDCL), N.S. Nigam, today held a meeting at the DPL office with representatives of industrial units.

“We told the chairman about the problems we are facing in running our factories because of frequent power cuts. We sought his help,” said Satpal Bansal, the director of Haldia Steels Ltd that produces ferro alloys. The plant, which requires 13MW a day, has cut down on production since Sunday morning.

Nigam assured the factory owners of uninterrupted power supply.

After the cable was snapped, DPL had cut down by half the 200MW it had been buying a day from West Bengal State Electricity Transmission Company Limited as one of the transformers could no longer be used.

To meet a portion of the demand, DPL, which had stopped production on December 31, has been producing 47MW for the past three days from an old unit that had been lying idle for several years.

Today, DPL increased the amount bought from WBSETCL to 147MW. DPL used its only other operational transformer to supply the 194MW to industrial units along with domestic consumers.

DPL sources said the transformer was already taking extra load.