Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL), formerly, Nathpa Jhakri Power Corporation Limited was incorporated in 1988 as a joint venture of the central government and the Himachal Pradesh government. Its mandate was to plan, investigate, organise, execute, operate and maintain hydroelectric power projects. The 1,500 MW Nathpa Jhakri Hydro-Electric Power Station (NJHPS) was the first project undertaken by SJVN. Its chairman and managing director HK Sharma spoke to Hindustan Times on a range of issues. Excerpts:
What is the status of the upcoming projects in Bhutan and Nepal?
SJVNL has gone global after bagging Arun-III (402 MW) hydroelectric Project in Nepal through global competitive bidding and signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for its implementation. In addition, the power ministry has allocated two projects — Kholongchu hydroelectric project (650 MW) and Wangchu hydroelectric project (600 MW) — to SJVN, in Bhutan, for preparation of a detailed project report (DPR). The DPR is at an advanced stage of preparation.
Besides hydropower, which other avenues of power generation is SJVN entering into?
Besides hydropower, SJVN has plans to enter various alternative energy projects, such as wind power and solar energy projects. In addition, SJVN is also pursuing geographical diversification through tendering for hydroelectric power projects outside India, and to leverage our technical expertise and know-how in the hydroelectric power sector into establishing a technical consultancy and advisory business. We have entered into a MoU with IL&FS Limited, Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) and PTC Financial Services Ltd for setting up a joint venture to construct and maintain the Indian part of a transmission line connecting Nepal and India.
Last year, SJVN’s net profit had taken a dip as compared to the previous year. What are the projections during the current financial year?
SJVN’s net profit during 2009-10 was R972.74 crore, which was marginally lower than the previous year’s profit of R1,015.32 crore. This is because of the inclusion of earlier sales and interest on account of issuance of final tariff order for the period 2004-09. It is anticipated that during the current financial year (2010-11), SJVN shall be able to achieve all projections made in the MoU targets set by the ministry of power and record an increase in real terms.
After setting a record in power generation in 2009-10, what has been the progress this year?
SJVNL, through its 1,500 MW Nathpa Jhakri Hydro Power Station (NJHPS), is consistently registering record energy generation. During 2009-10, NJHPS had established a record by generating 7,019 million units (MU) of electricity. It was 400 million units more than MoU targets set by the Ministry of Power. Even during the current fiscal year, till December 2010, SJVN has been able to achieve about 6,400 MU and expects to exceed the target by a huge margin. This is despite the forced closure of the powerhouse for 22 days during the monsoon, due to high silt level in the river Satluj.
What measures is the company taking to manage the problem of silt?
SJVN is beset with the unique problem of ingress of high silt content — which causes huge abrasion in the underwater turbine parts — in the river Satluj during the monsoon months. This is the peak generating power time for NJHPS. This problem has been minimised by continuous research and development (R&D) for introduction of hard coating of high-velocity oxygen fuel (HVOF) on the underwater turbine parts, increasing the dam height, rising intake level and so on.