Power from pvt plants to cost more

  • Vishal Rambani, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • |
  • Updated: Nov 16, 2013 20:23 IST

Punjab may be declared power surplus after commissioning of two thermal units in the private sector in the near future but the electricity tariff is going to increase.

Owing to less allotment of indigenous coal, the private power plants will import it from abroad and will pass on the extra cost to the consumers. The power with the imported coal (35% of the total) will cost 35 paise per unit more to consumers.

As per the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) analysis, in case of use of imported coal with landed cost of around Rs 10,000 per metric tonne, the price per unit may increase to around Rs 3.96 as the imported coal with Indian coal is to be blended in ratio of 30:70 resulting in a net increase of about 35 paise per unit in energy charges.

PSPCL has prepared itself to file the Annual Revenue Requirement (ARR) petition before the power regulator.

Appellete Tribunal of Electricity (APTEL), as per an earlier decision, has already allowed that private power plants can charge the state governments for the extra expenditure on imported coal.

In view of that, Larsen & Toubro, the firm executing the Rajpura thermal plant, had sought the approval of the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) for procurement of coal from alternative sources (imported coal) and passing through the landed cost of such coal in tariff under the power purchase agreement through a petition.

As disclosed by a senior PSPCL official, L&T in their petition to PSERC has submitted that the lowest price quoted by a consortium for importing coal was Rs 10,000 per metric tonne. PSPCL had attended the tender opening, as per the officer. The petition also sought passing on of the cost of washing of coal and transportation cost of coal from Sirhind to the site of the plant as the railway line to the plant is still incomplete.

PSERC did not admit the petition and said that L&T is yet to negotiate the price of coal with the tender company for further reducing it and has observed that on the remaining two issues, L&T will have to go as per PPA. The Commission has directed PSPCL to remain associated with L&T in process of negotiations for importing coal to get lower prices.

Power plant         Tariff (Rs/unit) with 100%    Tariff with 35%
                                    indigenous coal               imported coal

Talwandi Sabo              3.62                                     3.96       
Rajpura                         3.37                                    3.69   
Goindwal                       3.63                                    4.05


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