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India - Power crisis hits engineering units

COIMBATORE: With unscheduled power cuts extending to more than five hours a day, many engineering units in Coimbatore are losing orders.

Jayakumar Ramdass, president of the Southern India Engineering Manufacturers’ Association, told  that besides having to use generators from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. every day, the units had to go without power for at least three hours a day. In foundries, the generators would not support furnace operations. Production was thus affected for eight to eight-and-a-half hours every day, including the time needed for pre- and post-heating. This resulted in almost 35 per cent production loss. Coimbatore has 600 to 700 foundries and over 4,000 engineering units. A number of them were component suppliers to large automotive companies.

At least 10 to 15 per cent of the orders would have gone out of Coimbatore in the last two or three months, which might not come back. “This is unfortunate as the units would have invested in the die too. The power situation is crippling them,” he said. The Government should ensure equal distribution of energy to all industries, Mr. Ramdass demanded. Further, rather than buying power from private players at a higher cost to meet the shortage, the Government should subsidise generator usage by the industries for captive generation, he added.

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