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To produce electricity or buy it? Industrial houses with captive power plants constantly ask themselves this as power on exchange can be bought for as low as 2.80, while producing electricity can cost as much as 3.50- 4.
Large-scale manufacturing units in the South are currently making use of the cheap excess electricity available on the exchanges, while running their power generation units at half-capacity. "Currently there's cheap power available on the exchange, but that's not to say the same situation will continue. Sometime ago I bought electricity for as much as Rs 10-11," says a top executive at a South Indian cement major.
With many states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chattisgarh producing power in excess, experts say cheap electricity maybe available for a few more months going forward. With wind season strong in South now, power buyers are sitting on a problem of plenty. While power exchanges are a big help, they still cannot cope with the actual demand and supply chain, say experts.
"Only 10% of power consumed in India is being bought off the exchange. More than 90% of power is still being bought from state distributors like Tangedco or utility companies like Tata Power," says James Rajan, director- service unit, South Asia, Wartsila India.
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