Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) is mandated to supply electricity to all consumers of the state of Assam. The company has made all out endeavour to improve power supply position of the state and is now supplying power to the extent of 95% to 100% during Off- peak hours and to 90 to 95 % during Peak (evening) hours. However, the company expresses its regret to its esteemed consumers for occasional power shortage situation faced due to reasons beyond the reasonable control of the company. It is a fact that there has been a steep increase of demand for power during the last 3-4 years in the state. In Guwahati alone in the past five years, there has been a threefold increase in demand for power. Until a couple of years back, only 16% rural households were electrified, which has now enhanced to about 50%; but as per the National Electricity Policy, steps have been undertaken to electrify every household of Assam by the year 2019. As such, there has been a great increase in demand for power in the rural as well as urban areas in recent times.
Also with the increased development and better economic activities during the last few years, this year, Assam has been experiencing an average peak demand for power to the tune of 1400 MW. This is approximately2 (two) times what it was five years ago. It is a matter of cheer that the 726 MW OTPC power project located at Palatana in Tripura has now been commissioned to generate and Assam is getting its share to a tune of 200MW which has contributed in reducing demand supply gap. Further, to tide over this shortfall due to increasing demand APDCL is exploring different sources of power. In this endeavor, APDCL has managed to procure power from DVC and NTPC to avoid inconvenience of loads shading to the esteemed consumers.
Till now, Assam is mainly dependent on hydro generations. This is about 60% of the total existing availability. Most of these hydro generators are sourced through Run of the River (RoR) which are solely dependent on the rainfall in the respective catchments areas. It was expected that these hydro generators would pick up to 100% of its capacity during this monsoon. Also, the gas based thermal power stations are generating far below their full capacity due to inadequate supply of gas etc. The total availability of power, at present, is around 1200 MW including State's own generations of about 260 MW. APDCL is making efforts to minimize this 200 MW deficit by procuring 100-150 MW from the open market. Efforts are also being made to enhance the percentage allocation of power to Assam from unallocated source in the Eastern Region.
We expect that this would add up to some extent to minimize the demand-availability gap of power in Assam.
The much awaited NTPC, Bongaigaon has started its commercial operation from 2nd April, 2016. The share of Assam from this station is around 56%. With the synchronization of the first 250MW unit at Bongaigaon, the availability of power for APDCL has increased by around 130 MW.