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Kohima: Despite being endowed with promising hydropower and topography, Nagaland’s power potentials are yet to be sufficiently exploited and harnessed due to lack of resources leading to an acute shortage between demand and availability of electricity in the state, according to a vision document by APEN.

The ‘Vision Document 2021’ was presented by the Association of Power Engineers Nagaland (APEN) on the occasion of World Engineering Day organized by the Federation of Nagaland State Engineering Service Association (FONSESA) here on Thursday.

The Vision Document 2021 (VD-2021) was officially released by Minister for PWD (Housing and Mechanical) Tongpang Ozukum during the WED celebration held on the theme “Engineering for a Healthy Planet-Celebrating the UNESCO Engineering Project Report”.

On infrastructure development, the vision document said that the number of consumers in the state as of 2020 is 2,99,825 with the peak and off-peak demand being 179 MW and 120 MW respectively while the energy consumption is 854 MU.

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It said the state’s energy demand is predominantly met from the central sector allocations (90%), and own generation contributing approximately 10 per cent only.

The various sources of power for the state is 155 MW from the Central sector allocation and the state-owned 24 MW, it said, adding that during monsoon season only 115 MW is available from the central sector and 21 MW from state-owned sector while in lean season it is 98 MW from the central and 12 MW from the state.

Maintaining that by 2040, at normative approach of 5 per cent and 7 per cent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for consumers and demand respectively, the growth of electricity consumers in the state is projected to 7,95,524 with peak and off-peak demand increasing to 700 MW and 500 MW respectively with an estimated energy consumption at 3,340 MU.

There is a considerable gap between demand and availability even presently, catering future projected demand is a huge challenge in itself, the document said, adding that the state power sector must be prepared by building adequate capacities of all the three sectors – generation, transmission and distribution.

In the generation sector, it said that the state-owned installed capacity is only 27 MW and this depends mostly on import from central sector generating stations of North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO), National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

The aggregate availability from these stations ranging from 70 MW to 110 MW is far too short of the state’s minimum peak requirement.

As a result, the state is left with little or no option but to agree to purchase power even at very high tariffs or buy expensive power from the market to meet its requirements resulting in a huge financial burden to the government with power purchase bills.

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio during the Assembly deliberations on ‘Power Reforms’ had informed that the state has been facing a revenue gap of between Rs 150 crore to Rs 229 crore for the last four years.

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In this, the VD 2021 maintained that developing state owned generation projects has become very crucial for long term positive impact on the financial as well as socio- economic health of the state besides ensuring energy security for the state.

It is imperative to develop the identified power generation potentials in the state without further delay in order to usher-in overall socio-economic development and be prepared to cater to the project peak demand of 700 MW by 2040, it said.

It also listed the 20 identified power potentials of the state as under: Dikhu HEP 186 MW, Lower-Tizu HEP 42 MW, Yangnyu HEP 40 MW, Lower-Doyang SHP 24 MW, Tizu-Valley SHP 24 MW, Doyang Stage-Ill SHP 24 MW, Zungki SHP 24 MW, etc.

Further, the VD 2021 maintained that due to lack of financial resources, Nagaland is yet to develop many of the potential generation projects, while Power Department being a Government Department is unable to avail funds directly from the financial institutions.

The vision document suggested that the financial institutions fund projects that are taken up only by private developers, companies and corporations or under joint ventures.

Therefore, to raise funds from the market for developing power projects either on its own or in Joint Venture mode, a power development company registered under the Company Act needs to be established at the earliest, it said.

In this regard, the proposal for formation of Nagaland Power Development Corporation Limited (NPDCL) submitted by the Power Department to the state government needs to be considered in all earnest, the VD 2021 said.

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