Call it the effect of economic slowdown or a stroke of luck. The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has bought power from private companies at the rate of Rs 3.44 per unit during the peak summer, when the rate is usually around Rs 5 a unit.
The PSPCL had early this month floated tenders to purchase 4,000 MW of power during the peak summer. Much to its surprise, all bidders quoted prices below Rs 3.90 per unit, with the lowest being Rs 3.44.
“Due to the economic slowdown, we have got power at such a cheap rate for the first time in the peak summer. It will make the PSPCL’s position quite comfortable,” said a PSPCL official dealing with the power purchase. The corporation is purchasing this power from June 10 to August 31.
Talking to Hindustan Times, PSPCL chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) KD Chaudhri said, “Though the PSPCL has enough power generation to meet the demand, but in view of the coal shortage, we bought 4,000 MW under the short-term power purchase agreement to meet the rising demand during the paddy season.”
Though the Pachwara coal mine in Jharkhand has been re-allotted to the PSPCL, it will take a few months to extract coal from this mine.
Chaudhri said the PSPCL was geared up to meet the additional power demand during the paddy season this year.
He said arrangements had been made for providing eight hours’ supply daily to farmers during the paddy season and 24 hours’ supply to other consumers in Punjab. However, he added that in case of complete failure of the monsoon or shortfall of power generation by independent power producers (IPPs), some regulatory measures could not be ruled out.
Talking about Punjab’s load pattern, the CMD said the power demand crossed 12,000 MW during the paddy season, whereas it was in the range of 3,000 MW to 6,000 MW during the remaining nine months.
Chaudhri added that the present availability of power in Punjab was more than 12,000 MW and the transmission capacity to draw power from central sector units was 5,700 MW. He said the Rajpura and Talwandi Sabo thermal plants were generated 1,400 MW and 660 MW, respectively. One more unit (660 MW) of the Talwandi Sabo plant will start generating power from July 2015.
For the three state-owned plants, the CMD said there were coal reserves of 25 days at each plant, adding that efforts were on to get more coal from Coal India Limited.
The PSPCL had early this month floated tenders to purchase 4,000 MW of power under the short-term purchase agreement.
Much to its surprise, all bidders quoted prices below Rs 3.90 per unit, with the lowest being Rs 3.44
The corporation is purchasing power from private companies from June 10 to August 31
The current availability of power in Punjab is more than 12,000 MW.