Rice mill owners seek reduction in electricity fixed charges

With higher paddy yields this year, the mills will need more electricity for processing, and have asked Tangedco for a reduction in fixed costs

The higher paddy crop yield this year is presenting a challenge to rice mill owners in Tamil Nadu.

According to K.S. Jagadeesan, honorary president of Tamil Nadu Rice Mill Owners Association, the mills have been asking the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) permission for sanctioned demand up to 150 KW. They need more electricity as they will be processing more paddy this year. The mills had sought the additional supply at the old rate up to 112 KW, and for the additional load at HT rates.

The 3,000-odd rice mills in the State will be processing more paddy this year, but most of these mills are small or medium-scale enterprises, running on less than 112 KW of the sanctioned demand. They have the capacity to process one tonne an hour. Less than 10 % of the mills have High Tension (HT) electricity connections.

Mills in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka on the other hand, are large-scale, with the capacity to process 10 tonnes of paddy an hour. These run on HT connections and operate throughout the year.

However, Tangedco issued an order recently asking the mills to pay ₹350 a KW as fixed charges from 0-150 kw. The mills, whether they are in operation or not, will have to shell out ₹45,000 a month approximately towards fixed charges, says Mr. Jagadeesan seeking a reduction in the charges.

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