It’s on a spree of disconnecting electricity connections of bill defaulters, including government departments, but a private thermal plant appears to be beyond its sight. The Punjab Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) is still to get the Rs 4-crore penalty imposed on the Talwandi Sabo thermal power plant in August 2015.
The matter relates to overstatement of fixed generation capacity by the plant to get higher regular payment from the state government. Here’s what that means.
As per the power purchase agreement with the Talwandi Sabo plant, payments are made by the government under two heads — fixed component and variable component. The fixed component is the minimum availability of power at the plant on any particular day. The variable component is the measure of fuel consumed for generating power. The fixed component is payable irrespective of the actual generation, thus the companies seek to declare it as maximum possible. Any wrong declaration of capacity, however, results in penalty.
“The power plant is required to demonstrate the declared capability of its generating station as and when asked by the State Load Dispatch Centre (SLDC),” explained a senior PSPCL engineer who did not want to be named, adding, “In the event of the plant falling to demonstrate the declared capability, penalty for the first wrong declaration is two days’ fixed charges. For a second offence, the penalty is equivalent to fixed charges for four days.”
As for the Talwandi Sabo plant, the load dispatch centre had on August 15, 2015, asked the plant management to demonstrate the declared capability for one unit of 612 MW; but it failed to do so. It was penalised around ₨ 4 crore, equivalent of two days’ fixed charges.
However, the PSPCL did not recover this Rs 4 crore as was due in August 2015; and it remains unpaid to date. When contacted, PSPCL chief engineer (power purchase and regulations) JP Singh said he was busy and could not comment. His staff, on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that the penalty is yet to be recovered. The corporation’s director (commercial), Surinder Pal, could not be contacted for comment.