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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Power-surplus Haryana struggles to find buyers

Navneet Sharma, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, October 17, 2013
First Published: 10:06 IST(17/10/2013) | Last Updated: 10:08 IST(17/10/2013)

Even as Haryana is in the market to sell its surplus power, it seems to be having difficulty in finding buyers.

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The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) and Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN), the two state-owned power distribution companies, have been searching for buyers for 500 megawatt (MW) of power from the last two-and-a-half months.

However, the power utilities have not received any response for their surplus power so far.

The two distribution companies, which had initially invited bids from power traders for a sixmonth period from September 2013 to March 2014, have now extended the deadline for submitting bids till October 28 for roundthe-clock power for a period of one year, according to discom sources.

While UHBVN and DHBVN have availability of 7,500 MW of power from the state-owned power company, the Haryana Power Generation Corporation Limited (HPGCL), their share in various Central projects and longterm power purchase contracts, electricity demand by and large remains below 6,800 MW on an average, leaving them with surplus power.

The average bulk power purchase cost comes to over ` 3.50 per unit and the companies are looking for “compensatory” rates.

“The two power companies have no option but to sell their surplus power. If the discoms schedule their contracted power and draw only a part of it, the remaining is left in the grid. The unscheduled interchange (UI) rates are low and the discoms are able to recover only a fraction of their cost.

In case they schedule less power and the generation company backs down, hefty fixed charges are to be paid to the generator. Though several states are facing shortage, the power utilities are not buying electricity owing to financial constraints,” according to an energy sector expert.

Devender Singh, chairmancum-managing director of the two discoms, told HT that there were power utilities with demandsupply gaps, but they opted for cuts instead of buying power due to financial difficutlies.

“We are planning to hold talks with power trading companies and power utilities for the sale of surplus power and banking arrangements.

Efforts are underway to generate demand for power in areas. The process of releasing new and pending connections and extension of electricity load is also being streamlined,” he added.

Under their business plan for 2013-14, UHBVN and DHBVN had projected to sell 11,483 million units — 22% of the total power available to them — of excess electricity to trading companies and power utilities outside the state.

Of the projected availability of 52,570 million units during the year, the remaining 41,086 million units of electricity will be supplied to consumers within the state.

The two companies proposed the sale of excess power at an average rate of ` 3.16 per unit. Last year, the discoms had incurred a loss of around ` 500 crore on such inter-state sale of “surplus” power.

Discom officials defend the current situation as a consequence of long-term power purchase agreements and substantial increase in own generation with a long-term vision to meet future demand.

These power purchase contracts would be of great help in the coming years due to the growing demand for electricity in the state, they said.

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