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BILL TO REFORM POWER SECTOR IN WINTER SESSION

egNEW DELHI: The government will bring a Bill, amending the Central Electricity Act, in winter session of Parliament to improve the tariff policy and regulations in the power sector. The power ministry is working out different tariff structure for different times of the day for easy availability of power for maximum hours in electricity deficit areas. It will soon consult states over the issue as the tariff matter comes under the states’ domain.

 

Besides, the government has decided to promote domestic power companies to help increase solar power generation in the country. Announcing these decisions in Rajya Sabha, power minister Piyush Goyal said the government will allow only 100% indigenous domestic companies to participate in the tendering process for 1000 MW solar power plants for defence sector. The measure would be implemented from this year itself, he added.

 

Replying to a discussion on functioning of his ministry, Goyal said he will seek the support of House in getting amendments to the Electricity Act of 2003 passed as it needs a relook and it should be more contemporary. “We need to have transformational changes. Our government is committed to transformational changes and not incremental changes.”

 

Announcing other measures to enhance power production in the country, Goyal said his ministry was working out with states to sort out pending issues due to which power projects have been held up.

 

Giving the break-up, he said power plants with installed capacity of 69,842 MW were held up for various reasons of which 45,634 MW were due to non-availability of coal.

 

Goyal, who also holds the coal portfolio, said while the power plant capacity has increased by 60% in the last few years, coal production has gone up by 7-8%.

 

He said the government has now decided that all power plants over 25 years’ old will get automatic exemption from clearances and automatic coal linkage for setting up plants with higher capacity.

(Source: The Times of India, August 7, 2014)

 

NARENDRA MODI TO LAY FOUNDATION STONE FOR POWER PROJECTS IN POLL-BOUND STATES

 

NEW DELHI: To repeat his success in the general elections on the back of the ‘Gujarat Model’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to go on a power trip to dedicate commissioned projects and lay foundation stone for several more ahead of crucial state assembly elections.

 

State-run companies such as NTPC, Power Grid Corporation of India and NHPC have identified milestones of their projects to host Modi in poll-bound states of Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand and Jammu & Kashmir.

 

In August, Modi will visit Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand and Maharashtra to launch projects of Power Grid and NHPC, while NTPC is preparing the stage for inviting him to dedicate its Mouda power project in Maharashtra’s Nagpur district.

 

“We have already sent our teams and deployed resources to prepare grounds for the events to be held in August. As these soon-to-be-unveiled projects took off during the UPA government, Modi will also lay foundation stones for new projects. The management is also identifying more projects in states that are going to vote for assembly elections in next few months,” said an official with one of the public sector units in power sector.

 

He said Modi may visit Punjab, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh that are going to witness by-elections for assembly seats. Last year, Modi successfully pitched for his candidature before the NDA and later the nation for the post of Prime Minister by claiming success of his ‘Gujarat Model’ of development.

 

Among other aspects, he highlighted reforms in the power sector and rural electrification. The BJP, the first political party to create an energy cell, had also promised to increase energy production in its election manifesto.

 

To align the government’s efforts in the sector, Modi gave the portfolios of power, coal and renewable energy to a single minister, Piyush Goyal. In one of the first events after taking over, he inaugurated the 240 mw Uri-II hydroelectric project near the Line of Control (LoC) in Baramulla district of Kashmir.

 

The Modi model of governance will continue to dominate BJP’s campaign strategy for the crucial state assembly elections and the by-elections, just like the April-May general elections, said Arvind Gupta, head of the BJP’s IT division.

 

“We will showcase its success through digital and social media during soon-to-be-held assembly elections. The campaigns will carry messages of Gujarat’s success in turning around the power sector and attracting investments to create more jobs.”

 

In August, Modi will dedicate two of NHPC’s hydropower stations in Ladakh to the nation. He will also lay the foundation-stone for an electricity transmission line between Leh and Kargil. In Jharkhand, the Prime Minister will dedicate a newly commissioned transmission line between Ranchi and Sipat.

(Source: The Economic Times, August 7, 2014)

 

 

FIRM FOR SICK CPSEs’ REVIVAL? NTPC CMD-LED PANEL TO STUDY PROPOSAL

 

NEW DELHI: A government panel headed by NTPC CMD Arup Roy Choudhury in two months will submit a report on the proposal to set up a separate company to revive sick PSUs.

 

The proposed company, funded by seed equity from Maharatna and other cash-rich central public sector enterprises (CPSEs), will administer and manage sick state-run enterprises that can be revived.

 

‘The issue of revival of sick CPSEs has been drawing the attention of the government and a suggestion has been received regarding the setting up of a separate company funded by seed equity from Maharatna and other surplus rich CPSEs to administer and manage such sick CPSEs which can be revived,’ an official document said.

 

‘It has been decided to set up a committee to examine holistically this proposal,’ the memorandum of the Department of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises added.

 

Besides examining the feasibility of setting up of a separate company to nurse ailing PSUs back to health, the terms of reference of the committee include identifying sources from which funds may be raised for the proposed entity as equity capital; and to recommend organisational structure of the proposed entity and its interface with the Ministries.

 

‘The secretarial assistance to the committee will be provided by NTPC Limited. The committee will submit its report in two months time,’ the document said.

 

While NTPC chief Choudhury will chair the committee, its other members include representatives from Maharatna and Navratna central public sector enterprises not below the rank of Executive Director. The panel’s member-secretary will be a representative from the Department of Public Enterprises or Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises.

 

The committee may co-opt members of other central public sector enterprises, if necessary, and other members from industry/other experts having knowledge in mergers & acquisitions, takeovers, financial, legal matters etc.

(Source: Millennium Post, August 7, 2014)

 

PTC INDIA FINANCIAL SERVICES APPROVES LOANS OF OVER RS 1,000 CRORE TO POWER PROJECTS

 

NEW DELHI: PTC India Financial Services (PFS) has approved loans of over Rs 1,000 crore to power projects, bulk of them in renewable energy space. At its board meeting, PFS approved project lending of a little over Rs 1,000 crore to established players with proven track record, official sources said.

 

Refusing to divulge individual company details, sources said bulk of the projects are in renewable energy space. Loan of Rs 540 crore has been sanctioned for solar projects and Rs 265 crore for wind projects.

 

Hydroelectric projects have got Rs 140 crore from PFS and capital thermal power plants another Rs 150 crore.

 

In one of the projects in the solar space, PFS is the sole lender and is lending Rs 300 crore. The 50 MW project in Madhya Pradesh is a joint venture between a leading Public sector company, NEEPCO and a private player chosen after bidding. The project is likely to come up by January 2015.

 

“PFS is emerging as first port of call for power projects in the country, including renewable energy. This is primarily due to their extensive knowledge of the sector, thorough due diligence and then quick sanction and disbursal of loans,” said an official with a company that has borrowed from PFS in the past.

 

With NDA government’s focus on renewable energy, a number of projects are beginning to take shape or are in the process of being constructed. There is keen interest in renewable energy projects from both public and private sector companies.

 

India, with abundant sunshine through the year, long coastline ideal for wind power and water resources, is ideal for renewable energy. While bulk of India’s current power generation is coal based, which is both polluting and a finite source, renewable energy promises to significantly cut down pollution levels.

 

Companies are already queueing up at banks and power sector specific lending companies like PTC India Financial Services (PFS) to take loans.

(Source: The Economic Times, August 7, 2014)

 

AP GENCO TO SHUT SOME THERMAL POWER PLANTS FOR MAINTENANCE

 

HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation Ltd has announced shut down of several of its thermal power plants in the State.

 

With the prospect of increase in hydel power generation and also likely dip in power requirement during the monsoon, the AP Genco has announced it will take up overhaul of a 500 MW and two 210 MW units at Dr Narla Tatarao Thermal Power Station in Vijayawada, and another 210 MW unit at Rayalasemma Thermal Power Station.

 

In a statement, AP Genco has said that the shut down schedule has been communicated to Southern Regional Power Centre and the Central Electricity Authority. These units require about 15 to 30 days for the proposed overhaul.

 

In a statement, the Chief Engineer, Generation of AP Genco stated that it will require about 35 days to overhaul the 500 MW unit at Simhadri project. This is one of the projects where the power generated is shared between the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

 

Taking up overhaul of the thermal units is a must even if the utilities may experience short durations of power deficit. AP Genco said it was committed to complete such overhauls on all possible units before December of every year to render hassle-free service during the summer when the utilities experience far higher shortages in power availability.

(Source: Business Line, August 7, 2014)

 

SRISAILAM, JURALA PROJECTS PUSH UP POWER GENERATION

 

HYDERABAD: Huge monsoon-fuelled inflows from the upper riparian States of Maharashtra and Karnataka into Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have begun to fill up reservoirs and provided a major boost for the farm sector and hydel power generation at the Srisailam and Jurala projects.

 

Rains in the catchment areas of major dams in Karnataka have topped up the Almatti, Narayanpur and Tungabhadra dams on the Krishna river, forcing irrigation authorities to release water downstream.

 

The inflow has already filled up the Jurala hydel project and, if the current flows continue into the Srisailam dam downstream, the latter is also likely to be up to full level in the next few days.

 

Srinivasa Rao, SE, Srisailam project, told BusinessLine that: “The project now has 140.3 tmc of water and is getting inflows of about 2,99,647 cusecs and outflow of 68,037 cusecs.

 

Against a full reservoir level (FRL) of 885 feet, the level is 869.70 ft . If the inflow continues, the dam will be full within three days.”

 

Asked if huge outflows once water in the dam reaches maximum level could cause damage downstream, including to power house, Rao said: “The dam has been designed to release up to 12 lakh cusecs and has handled up to 8 lakh cusecs in the past. Submergence of the powerhouse, as in 2009, is not likely now as reinforcements have been built.”

 

Rao further explained Srisialam is getting inflows of 24 tmc per day.

 

Once it gets filled up and the water flow is of the same order, Nagarjunasagar would also get filled up in about a week. The Nagarjunasagar dam has a capacity to impound 312 tmc, and is now holding about 139 tmc.

 

Devineni Uma Maheswara Rao, Irrigation Minister of Andhra Pradesh, told BusinessLine over the phone on Tuesday: “The water inflow is extremely good as this will help both the irrigation and drinking water requirements and facilitate hydel power generation.”

 

“If the current rate of inflows into the major dams continues, they are likely to fill up in the next two weeks. There is still a gap of about 300 tmc and we hope that will also be filled up soon,” he explained.

 

K Vijayanand, Managing Director of AP Genco, said: “Power generation at the Srisailam reservoir will continue till inflows come in. Two days ago, Mahabaleshwar received 41 cm of rain. That means inflows will continue for some more time.”

 

The Srisailam reservoir has two major hydel projects — the Right Bank project of 770 MW, operated by Andhra Pradesh, and the Left Bank Hydel Power House of 900 MW, operated by Telangana.

 

D Prabhakar Rao, CMD of TS Genco, told BusinessLine , “Telangana has installed capacity of 2081 MW of hydel projects. Over 800 MW is currently being generated. This includes 180 MW at Jurala and about 750 MW of 900 MW in Srisailam.”

 

“If the water inflows go up, we can increase hydel power generation further, even at Nagarjunasagar,” he said.

 

The Kurnool district administration had issued flood warning as the water released from the Tungabhadra has the potential to inundate low-lying areas. Already, there have been cases of submergence in the Mantralayam area.

 

Hydel power generation at Jurala and Srisailam dams has provided major relief to both the States, which faced a demand-supply gap.

(Source: Business Line, August 7, 2014)

 

 

E-RICKSHAWS STEALING POWER WORTH RS 216CR ANNUALLY: DISCOMS

 

NEW DELHI: In addition to being unregulated, e-rickshaws have allegedly been using electricity that is not accounted for. Power discoms in Delhi alleged there is no knowing where e-rickshaw owners charged their vehicles—a majority of them simply tap power from streetlight poles and electricity lines. In the past two years, several e-rickshaw owners have been charged with power theft but in the absence of a policy on where and how e-rickshaws should be charged, discoms claimed there was no way to keep a check on them.

 

Before the high court ban on July 31, about 1 lakh e-rickshaws plied in almost all parts of the city. Since then, Delhi Police has been impounding e-rickshaws on a daily basis. “On average, e-rickshaws consume around 10 units in a day—one unit of power is enough for approximately 10km. Most e-rickshaws run on stolen electricity, which is estimated to be Rs 18 crore worth of power in a month and Rs 216 crore in a year,” said a discom official.

 

It takes about eight hours to fully charge a rickshaw, which then runs for 80km. “Most of these e-rickshaws are charged in batches as part of an organized illegal network. They can generally be seen around electric poles, lampposts or power lines, where they assemble to charge their vehicles. They operate in a manner similar to that of domestic households in illegal colonies by connecting their charging cables directly to the poles for drawing power. There are also some e-rickshaws who pay about Rs 50 a day to shops for a recharge, which is mostly illegal,” said an expert. In the past few days, several e-rickshaws have been booked for power theft in areas like Keshavpuram, Civil Lines, Raghubir Nagar, Madipur and East Sagarpur. “Near blocks P and N of Raghubir Nagar, 60 e-rickshaws were parked out of which 20 were getting charged from an electricity pole. They were stealing around 14kW,” said a discom source.

 

Discoms said it was tough to keep tabs on e-rickshaws. ” Many even charge their vehicles at home,” said a discom official. A top official from Tata Power Delhi said, “E-rickshaw is a relatively new concept. We expect to have new guidelines by the next tariff order. We have to ensure they charge only from designated portals and then decide the rates accordingly.” Experts said that e-rickshaws should theoretically pay commercial rates but most pay the domestic ones by charging at home.

 

Officials claimed e-rickshaws were charged by automobile shopowners; ‘charging stations’ were created by locals beside the road for charging from poles; houses and private godowns are also used. “E-rickshaw drivers don’t have charging and parking facilities so we pay Rs 100-150 per night. It includes charging of batteries,” said a driver. One vehicle carries four batteries of 12 volts each. It takes up to eight hours to charge them.

 

Areas for charging are spread across the city but Arambagh, Gole Market, Minto Road, Sadar Bazar and Kamala Market in Paharganj have emerged as the hotspots. Geeta Colony, Seelampur, Laxmi Nagar, Vishwas Nagar, Timarpur and Maujpur are also seeing brisk business. Most drivers live in JJ clusters and do not have space and charging facility for their vehicles.

(Source: The Times of India, August 7, 2014)

 

ADANI POWER Q1 LOSS NARROWS TO RS 303 CRORE

 

MUMBAI: Adani Power reported a significantly narrow quarterly loss as net sales for the quarter more than doubled to R5,219 crore, with the company selling 13.43 billion units during the period, a 65% jump over the same period previous year.

 

The Ahmedabad-based company posted a loss of R303 crore for the quarter ended June 30. It had reported a loss of R1,198 crore in Q1FY14.

 

“Our overall result reflects improved power generation from our installed capacity of 8,580 MW with improved PLF and lower auxiliary consumption,” Vneet Jaain, chief executive, Adani Power, said.

 

“With increased generation and operational efficiencies coupled with improved domestic coal availability, rail infrastructure and implementation of tariff revision petitions, we are confident of better performance in the ensuing quarters,” he added.

 

Fuel costs for the quarter rose 76% to R3,142 crore while the company recorded a power purchase cost of R19 lakh while no such cost was incurred in Q1FY14. Finance costs rose 52% to R1,155 crore.

 

The company, which has an installed capacity of 8,580 MW, said it expects to achieve thermal power generation capacity of 9,240 MW “very soon.”

(Source: The Financial Express, August 7, 2014)

 

JSPL Q1 PROFIT DOWN 20% ON HIGHER DEPRECIATION, FINANCE COST

 

NEW DELHI: Jindal Steel and Power reported a 20 per cent dip in consolidated net profit at Rs 402 crore for the first quarter of the current fiscal due to higher depreciation and finance costs.

 

The company had recored Rs 501 crore profit in the year-ago period.

 

“A major increase in depreciation and financing costs and restructuring costs of WCL, Australia, caused net profit at consolidated level to drop by 20.5 per cent on year-on-year basis,” JSPL’s Managing Director and Group CEO Ravi Uppal told reporters here.

 

Depreciation and amortisation costs of the company went up by 58 per cent to Rs 667 crore during the reporting quarter from Rs 422 crore a year ago. Interest costs also doubled to Rs 535 crore form Rs 268 crore.

 

Turnover, however, went up by 10 per cent to Rs 4,978 crore in April-June quarter of current fiscal from Rs 4,540 crore a year ago on higher sales and net sales realisation.

 

The company, which has a net debt of Rs 37,500 crore, as on June-end, would look at consolidating assets rather than going for big-ticket capital expenditure.

 

Jindal Steel and Power Ltd’s (JSPL) Group CFO K Rajagopal said in current fiscal the company would put in around Rs 6,000 crore capex, including Rs 1,900 crore already made, compared to around Rs 11,000 crore investment last fiscal.

 

He said net debt position of the company would not go up because of the proposed capex plan as JSPL would generate cash nearly of the same amount.

 

However, in order to dollarise its rupee loan and prune the high cost debt, JSPL might resort to some fund raising.

 

JSPL would also be looking at monetising some of non-core assets and core assets which do not have the prospect of cash generating in the short-term.

 

“The asset monetisation is not meant for paring debt, but because as these assets do not have the prospect of generating cash in the near-term,” Rajagopal said.

 

Uppal said promoters have already appointed bankers to go out of the oil and gas venture. Jindal Petroleum, which is not a part of JSPL, owns seven oil and gas blocks in different parts of the world, including five in Georgia and one each in Bolivia and India.

 

“The deal is likely to happen in the current fiscal,” he said.

 

To a question on acquisition of 100 per cent stake in Australian mining and exploration company Legend Mining’s iron ore project in Cameroon for Rs 100 crore, he said the project is likely to start production in next 2-3 years and has around 400 million tonnes of reserve.

 

The Ngovayang Project, located in south-western region of the West African country, is aimed at securing raw material for JSPL’s recently commissioned two million tonnes per annum (mtpa) steel plant in Oman. The project covers around 2,970 square km area comprising three exploration permits.

(Source: Business Standard, August 7, 2014)

 

 

NUCLEAR LIABILITY ISSUE: GOVERNMENT TRYING TO OBTAIN INSURANCE COVER

 

NEW DELHI: The government is addressing the concerns raised by domestic suppliers over certain provisions of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CLND) Act 2010 and is working out a scheme to obtain appropriate insurance cover from domestic insurance companies.

 

Responding to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for department of atomic energy Jitendra Singh said that nuclear equipment suppliers are objecting to certain provisions of the CLND Act.

 

“Specifically, these relate to Section 17 (b) of the Act which provide for operator’s right of recourse on the supplier where the nuclear incident has resulted as a consequence of an act of the supplier or his employee, which includes supply of equipment or material with patent or latent defect or substandard services.

 

“In order to address the concerns raised by domestic suppliers, a scheme based on obtaining appropriate insurance cover from domestic insurance companies, is currently being worked out,” Singh said.

 

He added that signing of the Indo-US Nuclear Deal has also benefitted the country as an exemption was given by the Nuclear Suppliers Group enabling India to conduct nuclear trade. “NSG has made an exemption enabling India to benefit from civil nuclear trade in nuclear material and equipment. The shortage of domestically available uranium has been overcome in the case of domestic reactors which are under IAEA safeguards,” he said.

 

The use of imported nuclear fuel has enabled these reactors to operate at full power over long time periods, the minister added.

 

Responding to another question, Singh said the average tariff for the electricity generated by the nuclear power plants for 2013-14 is R2.71 per unit. “The notified tariffs of electricity generated by nuclear plants in India range from 95 paise per unit in respect of the first station, Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS) units 1 and 2 and R3.41 per unit in case of the latest station, Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) units 5 and 6.

(Source: The Financial Express, August 7, 2014)

 

 

CENTRE, 5 STATES TO SET UP SOLAR POWER PROJECTS

 

NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi government has made the first concrete move towards expanding India’s solar generation capacity.

 

Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh would soon tie up with the Centre to execute ultra mega solar power projects with more than 500-Mw capacity each.

 

To put at least 5,000-7,000-Mw solar power generation under operation as soon as possible, Power Minister Piyush Goyal has asked officials to ensure agreements are signed with interested states by the end of the month, a government official said.

 

Madhya Pradesh is eyeing 750 to 800 Mw, while Rajasthan is looking at developing 4,000 Mw. Andhra Pradesh is looking to add 1,000 Mw of solar power and it is likely that Union government-owned NTPC might take up this project. NTPC has 95 Mw of solar power projects.

 

“In the case of Madhya Pradesh, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) would be formed between the Centre and the state,” said a senior official. “Private participation will be invited subsequently. The power evacuated would be sold to Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), which would take up the task of selling the power to the utilities.” Telangana is also likely to sell solar power to SECI, wholly owned subsidiary of the ministry of new and renewable energy.

 

The project developers would bid for viability gap funding support from the Centre.

 

The price of solar power, if the SPV is formed, might be Rs 5.5-5.4 a unit, said an official who did not want to be named.

 

Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary, ministry of new and renewable energy, said the thrust was on large power projects. “The new government is pushing for big capacity addition in solar. Taking a cue from the Budget, the upcoming policies are likely to look at big projects in every possible corner of the country,” said Kapoor.

 

Known to be a clean energy enthusiast, Prime Minister Modi is keen on development of renewable power. The Prime Minister’s Office has decided to meet key officials of the energy and infrastructure departments every month, with special focus on developing clean energy.

 

Gujarat, when Modi was the chief minister, was the first mover in the renewable energy space with 860 Mw of solar power projects. It still is the largest contributor to India’s solar power capacity of 2,600 Mw.

 

In the Budget, Rs 500 crore was allocated to develop solar ultra mega power projects. Under the flagship programme of the United Progressive Alliance-II, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, the target was to achieve 20,000 Mw of solar power by 2022. Renewable energy comprising solar, wind, biomass and small hydro currently accounts for 12% of the country’s installed generation capacity.

(Source: Business Standard, August 7, 2014)

 

FIFTH INDIA-US ENERGY SUMMIT TO FOCUS ON RENEWABLE ENERGY

 

WASHINGTON: Renewable energy and energy security would be the focus of the two-day annual India-US Energy Summit to be held here next month.

 

Noting that energy security is critical for both the US and India, Dr R K Pachauri, president of The Energy and Resources Institute North America (TERI NA), said the two countries must work together, both in energy security as well as on policy fronts, so as to bring in some positive changes.

 

The two-day event from September 30 being organised by TERI and Yale University is likely to be attended by top officials and energy experts from both the countries.

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is expected to be in the city to meet President Barack Obama, has been invited to address the meeting in energy, a subject close to his heart.

 

According to a TERI statement, the focus of the Summit will be on bilateral cooperation in the energy sector and related areas.

 

“Energy security is critical for both the US and India,” Pachauri said.

 

“The recent geopolitical developments in the region from where we import the bulk of our oil, can lead to a drastic increase in oil prices. The devaluation of the Rupee has added to the crisis. But I am confident that we are on the cusp of change in the use of our renewable energy resources,” he said.

 

“We should be investing more on renewable energy sources in the coming years. India and the US must work together, both in energy security as well as on policy fronts, so that we can bring in some positive changes,” Pachauri said.

 

Hosted annually since 2009 by TERI North America and Yale University, the fifth US-India Energy Partnership Summit will broadly look at ‘Accelerating Resilient Growth and Development’, while addressing various issues related to energy efficiency, security, access and technology.

 

Stakeholders from various sectors will discuss new collaborations in clean technologies and renewable energy, green buildings and sustainable cities, decentralized energy access, alternatives such as shale gas, etc.

 

Climate change will also form a key component of the discussions, with the proceedings at the General Assembly and Climate Summit providing significant inputs to the Summit deliberations, the statement said.

(Source: The Economic Times, August 7, 2014)

 

 

AUTOMATIC CLEARANCE FOR COAL LINKAGE FOR NEW POWER PLANTS

 

NEW DELHI: Minister of state for power, coal and renewable energy, Piyush Goyal, told Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that the new plants will be given automatic clearances for coal linkage and will be allowed to enhance capacity by up to 50%.

 

“Replacing old plants will also help in protecting the environment besides increasing efficiency… The capacity enhancement of 50% will also step up India’s power generation,” he said.

 

Power plant’s capacity has increased by 60% in the last few years, while coal production has gone up by 7-8%, he added.

 

The government will amend the Electricity Act in the next session of Parliament to help bring improvements in tariff policy and regulations in the power sector, he added.

 

Stating that the Centre was taking all efforts to increase coal production, Goyal said coal linkages granted so far were “irrational” and are being reviewed across the country – a move that is expected to save a lot of funds.

 

He also revealed that the power plants with capacity of 69,842 MW were held up for various reasons, of which 45,634 MW were due to non- availability of coal.

 

On his government’s commitment to provide 24×7 power across the country in the next five years, Goyal said that the states of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi have already discussed plans with his ministry regarding the same.

 

“We have assured full support of the government to all states and have invited other states also to come forward with similar plans.”

 

In order to provide a fillip to domestic manufacturing, Goyal said the government has decided to allow only 100% indigenous domestic companies to participate in the tendering process for 1,000 MW solar power plants for the defence sector.

 

The move, he said, is aimed at promoting domestic solar power companies to help increase solar power production in the country.

(Source: Hindustan Times, August 7, 2014)

 

 

COAL INDIA’S E-AUCTION SALES RISE 30% IN APRIL-JUNE QUARTER

 

KOLKATA: Here is good news for investors in Coal India Ltd. The State-run miner’s earnings from e-auction, or spot sales, a major contributor to the net profit, rose in the April-June quarter.

 

According to sources, the e-auction sales of power-grade coal increased by nearly 30 per cent to 14.65 million tonnes (mt) in the first quarter.

 

The company sold 11.28 mt of coal during the corresponding period last year.

 

Over and above the volume growth, sources say, the average price realisation has also increased in this fiscal.

 

Though the sales volume dropped in July, following Union Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s decision to divert more coal to the power sector, price realisation remained high. The electricity sector pays lowest price for Indian coal.

 

“Barring one subsidiary, all coal companies under CIL got better price than last year,” a CIL source told Business Line .

 

He said the e-auction sales did not come at the cost of consumers in the power sector as the miner was pushing the “stranded stock” through this route.

 

“There are mines like Vasundhara (10 mt) in Odisha, which are not connected by rail network. And, power sector consumers do not show much interest in picking up the allotted quantities by road, resulting in piling up of pit-head stock,” the official said, adding the e-auction is primarily aimed at the evacuation of coal from remotely located mines.

 

CIL’s e-auction realisation went up at a time when the price of imported coal remained soft.

 

According to India Coal Market Watch (ICMW), from March-April this year, global coal prices are declining. In July, prices of Indonesian coal were substantially down compared to last year. The shipping charges have also been low.

 

The key reason behind this contradictory movement between the global and Indian market prices is the high cost of moving coal from ports to the hinterland, where the end-users are located.

 

Also, due to low notified price (contract price), the spot-market prices rule below the cost of imported fuel.

(Source: Business Line, August 7, 2014)

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