Power cuts threaten cold storage in India and Japan

Hyderabad, India: Indian and Japanese cold storage facilities are threatened with electricity power cuts. Indian utilities issued a schedule for enforcing a 10% cut in supply to cold storage and poultry units following clearance from India’s chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy to impose power cuts on the industrial sector in the state. Transco said that the situation would be reviewed on April 20, saying normalcy could be restored once agriculture demand comes down.

India’s power “holidays” have disappointed many industries. K Harish Chandra Prasad, industrialist and former president of the Federation of AP Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Fapcci), told the Times of India:

“We have been subjected to severe power cuts whenever there is an increase in overall demand. Every summer, our production schedules are going haywire due to the unexpected power holidays. This year too, they assured us that there will be no power holidays but they have started imposing them already.”

And the crisis is likely to get worse, say power officials. Power demand will rise further by May-June due to the scorching heat and high use of air-conditioners.

In Japan the government has asked major power users to cut peak consumption by 25% following the loss of generating capacity after the earthquake and subsequent problems at several nuclear power plants.

The country’s economics minister Kaoni Yosano expects electricity shortages to last up to five years. According to the New York Times, the places most affected are not only in the earthquake-ravaged area but also in the economically crucial region closer to Tokyo. The move to ration power is because of the large chunk of the nation’s electrical generating capacity that was knocked out by the quake or washed away by the tsunami.