It is just two weeks since the state government sealed the Sterlite copper smelter in Tuticorin. But state power utility Tangedco is already feeling the heat as suppliers are facing a shortage of copper, and may delay the supply of new transformers to the distribution company, power minister P Thangamani said.
“There is no power shortage in the state. But sometimes due to high demand the power trips. In such places, we immediately change the transformers. But suppliers to Tangedco are stating that transformer supply will be delayed due to copper shortage because of Sterlite factory shutdown,” said Thangamani in his reply to Tiruvottiyur DMK MLA KPP Samy. While the Sterlite plant was sealed about two weeks ago, it was under shutdown for annual maintenance since March 27 this year.
Tangedco sources said that the suppliers of transformers and conductors have sought more time as they will now have to import copper. “Tangedco does not purchase copper directly from Sterlite but manufacturers of cables, transformers and other electrical equipment who are our suppliers or contractors have expressed some difficulty in sourcing copper after Sterlite closure,” Tangedco chairman and energy principal secretary Vikram Kapur said. This, the chairman said, may lead to some delay in executing purchase order.