UDAYAPUR- State-owned Udayapur Cement Industry Ltd is logging monthly loss of as high as Rs 30 million due to erratic power supply.
According to officials of the cement factory, the Udayapur Cement Industry has been facing problems like voltage fluctuation and power cuts at least 10-15 times a day which has affected operation of the plants.
Nawal Kishor Shah, officiating director general of the cement factory, said that erratic power supply has created problems in kiln firing, clinker production, grinding and loading. “This is causing huge loss to the factory,” he added.
Shah said the factory has been suffering through of Rs 300,000 to Rs 1 million on a daily basis due to low voltage and abrupt power cut. “Though interruption in power supply has remained a recurring problem since long, the situation has worsened since August 8,” he added.
According to Shah, sudden power cut on one hand affects functioning of equipment and machineries, while, on the other, creates obstruction in production, processing and sales. “For example, we had to face loss of Rs 10 million when electric short circuit affected suspension fan in one of our plants was on June 3. It took around two months to repair the fan which affected production of clinker,” Shah added.
Tika Kunwar, chief engineer of the factory, said that the short circuit was caused by voltage fluctuations. “Sudden power cuts put burden on machines and damages the
coil, integrated circuits and fuse. Scheduled power cuts do not create much problem as we generally switch off the machine before power cut. But we can do nothing when there is unscheduled power cut,” he added. Kunwar added that ministerial-level decision might be needed to address the problem.
Similarly, Sanjay Lal Karna, chief of Production Division, said that the state-owned factory has not been able to produce as per the demand in the market due to power fluctuation. “We could produce only 18,000 tons between August 7 and September 5 which is lower than our capacity of 24,000 tons,” Karna added.
Erratic power supply has also been affecting sales of the state-owned cement producers, according to Ram Bahadur GC, chief of the sales department. “Only 180,960 sacks (of 50 kg) were sold between August 8 and September 5. Last year when electricity supply was regular,
we had sold 204,449 sacks from mid-August to mid-September,” he added.