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POWER PLANTS CRY FOUL AS WESTERN COALFIELDS LTD LOOKS AT NON-CORE FIRMS

egNEW DELHI: Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL) has initiated the process of signing supply agreements with non-priority sector consumers such as paper and textiles units, even as power plants that had been given LoAs (letters of assurance) by the state-run company are facing shutdown in the absence of fuel.

 

Industry sources said WCL executives recently inspected sites of several prospective consumers from non-core sectors, including West Coast Paper Mills and Surya Laxmi Cotton Mills as a precursor to signing of fuel supply agreements.

 

The move by WCL, sources said, is in contradiction to the government’s recent emphasis on increasing coal supplies to power projects commissioned by March 2015.

 

Four power plants aggregating a capacity of 1,610 MW were recently commissioned on the basis of WCL’s letters of assurance. These plants belong to Ideal Energy, Abhijeet MADC Nagpur Energy, Vidarbha Industries Power Ltd and state-run NTPC.

 

WCL is not supplying coal to any of these plants, which have to depend on costlier imports or open market supplies. WCL had asked these plants to sign FSA (fuel supply agreement) but offered coal at ‘cost-plus’ price, which is 2.5 times higher than Coal India’s notified price.

 

Most of the plants refused to sign the FSA since WCL’s letter of assurance had not specified such condition. Though NTPC and VIPL signed FSAs but WCL has not made any of these operational. In the absence of supplies from WCL, these plants too are being forced to go for expensive imported coal and open market sourcing.

(Source: The Economic Times, August 9, 2014)

 

PFC RELEASES RS 79 CRORE FOR ODISHA UNDER R-APDRP

 

BHUBANESWAR: Power Finance Corporation (PFC) has released Rs 79.21 crore for implementation of the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programme (R-APDRP) in Odisha.

 

The amount has been released and credited in the designated R-APDRP account of the state energy department.

 

“Funds amounting to Rs 31.69 crore, Rs 39.55 crore and Rs 7.97 crore have been released under Part-A, Part-B and Part-A SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) of the R-APDRP scheme respectively being implemented in Cesu area. As the R-APDRP beneficiary account is being maintained by you, kindly comply and report to this department for further action”, S J Nayak, joint secretary (energy), Odisha wrote to chief executive officer, Cesu.

 

The disbursement of funds under R-APDRP fulfills a long-standing demand of the Odisha government which has been clamouring for the assistance all these years. But since the electricity distribution business was privatised in the state, the distribution companies (discoms) could not avail the funds.

 

However, the Central Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha (Cesu) was made an exception since the utility is currently managed by state power regulator Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC).

 

But the Union power ministry had stipulated a condition that the money provided under R-APDRP will be routed through the state government.

 

The funds released by PFC will be used in operational areas of Cesu covering Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Angul, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Khurda, Jatni, Paradeep, Pattamundai and Talcher.

 

R-APDRP is aimed at upgrading the sub-transmission and distribution network, including energy accounting and metering in the urban areas having population of more than 30,000.

 

The state government has identified 12 such towns that meet the criteria. The funding for all these towns has been estimated at Rs 410 crore. This includes Rs 190 crore receivable fund from the Centre and the residual Rs 220 crore to be raised by Cesu as counterpart funding.

 

In November 2012, the state government had given its consent to receive funds under R-APDRP, channelizing them to distribution sector in Cesu area as per requirement of the scheme, undertaking responsibility of fulfilling the conditions prescribed in the scheme and accepting the obligation of the repayment of the loans.

 

Implementation of the R-APDRP scheme is expected to trim the steep aggregate technical & commercial (AT&C) losses in Odisha.

 

While many states had been able to contain their high AT&C losses at 25 per cent by availing assistance under R-APDRP, Odisha is still reeling under an AT&C loss of 39 per cent.

 

As part of the reforms process, the Odisha government had unbundled the erstwhile Odisha State Electricity Board (OSEB) by structural separation and corporatisation of generation, transmission and distribution.

 

Fifty one per cent of OSEB’s shares were transferred to four distribution companies- Cesu, North Eastern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Ltd (Nesco), Western Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Ltd (Wesco) and Southern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Ltd (Southco).

(Source: Business Standard, August 9, 2014)

 

POWER GRID CORP TO INVEST RS 477 CRORE IN TWO TRANSMISSION PROJECTS

 

NEW DELHI: State-owned Power Grid Corp has received approval of its board for investing Rs 477.24 crore in two transmission projects.

 

The approval was given by the company’s board of directors during the meeting held on August 4, it said in a regulatory filing today.

 

The utility will invest Rs 288.49 crore for ‘System Strengthening – XX in Southern Regional Grid’. Another Rs 188.75 crore would be put in for ‘Transmission System for Connectivity for NCC Power Projects Ltd (1,320 MW)’.

 

Both projects are expected to be commissioned in 30 months from the date of investment approval.

 

The company posted a rise in net profit at Rs 1,136.51 crore in three months ended June.

 

The Power Grid scrip fell nearly 2 per cent to close at Rs 132.05 on the BSE.

(Source: The Economic Times, August 9, 2014)

 

 

ALSTOM T&D INDIA BAGS RS 240-CRORE CONTRACT FROM TAMIL NADU TRANSMISSION CORPORATION

 

MUMBAI: Alstom T&D India today said it has bagged three contracts worth Rs 240 crore from Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation to supply three air-insulated substations.

 

“Alstom has secured three contracts of around Rs 240 crore from Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation to supply three air- insulated substations to establish a reliable grid,” a release said.

 

The scope of the contract includes establishing a 400/230 /100 kv air-inslulated substation at Rasipalayam connecting Tamil Nadu’s transmission network to the national grid, and one 230/110 kv air-insulared substation each in Vyasarpadi and in Omega industrial estate, both near Chennai, the release said.

 

“The substations will stabilise power supply in and around Chennai to cope with increasing industrialisation,” it said.

 

Alstom will supply 62 air-insulated bays, two power transformers, eight auto-transformers and other equipment for the contract. These equipment will be supplied from the company’s manufacturing facilities spread across the country.

 

“Energy consumption in Tamil Nadu has grown at six per cent per year between 2004 and 2011 and is estimated to grow another seven per cent during the 12th Plan.

 

“To meet this demand, the state will increase power generation capacity. Alstom’s air-insulated substations will transmit this new generation capacity along the grid efficiently and reliably,” company’s MD Rathin Basu said.

 

He further said its advanced transmission technologies and strongly localised manufacturing footprint, Alstom is ready to support the state’s plans to strengthen the transmission network.

(Source: The Economic Times, August 9, 2014)

 

 

PIYUSH GOYAL ASKS CIL FOR ACTION PLAN TO LIQUIDATE 39 MILLION TONNE COAL

 

NEW DELHI: Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal has asked CIL to prepare an action plan by next month to liquidate 39 million tonnes of stock, as nearly half the thermal power plants in the country are reeling under fuel shortages with less than seven days of stocks.

 

“The minister reviewed the status of liquidation of coal stock. He observed that about 39 million tonne is lying at stock… He directed to prepare action plan to liquidate the available stock by September, 2014,” a source privy to the development said.

 

According to the source, Goyal further asked that the stock in each subsidiary of state-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) be limited to the most economic order, “it could be roughly be equivalent of 15 days production so far”.

 

For faster evacuation of coal from the pitheads, CIL had earlier introduced a one-time offer which allowed power utilities to lift the fuel directly from mines.

 

The CIL scheme not only helped in making available more coal to power utilities but also resulted in liquidating stocks at mine heads.

 

Goyal had yesterday informed the Lok Sabha that as on July 30, 2014, 46 thermal power plants had critical coal stock of less than seven days, of which 23 TPPs had super critical coal stock of less that four days’s requirement.

 

Some of the power plants which are affected due to coal shortages are Indira Gandhi STPP (Super Thermal Power Plant) in Haryana, Rajpura TPP and Ropar power plant in Punjab, and Suratgarh TPS (Thermal Power Station) in Rajasthan among others, the minister had said.

(Source: The Economic Times, August 9, 2014)

 

 

CIL ARM LOOKING TO SELL COAL TO CAPTIVE POWER PLANTS

 

NEW DELHI: Western Coalfields, a subsidiary of Coal India, is looking to sell expensive coal from its cost-plus mines to captive power plants as commercial power projects with which it had inked letters of assurance (LoAs) for fuel supply have declined to seal final contracts, citing high coal costs.

 

According to industry sources, Ideal Energy, Abhijeet Group, Vidarbha Industries and state-owned NTPC are the firms which have held back from signing FSAs with WCL for their plants at Bela, Nagpur, Butibori and Mouda respectively. These plants with capacity totalling 1,610 mw are unable to run due to non-availability of coal.

 

Instead, the project developers are insisting on taking supply from mines which are subject to Coal India’s notified price. Their argument is that there is no mention of cost-plus pricing in LoAs signed with WCL and their projects could become unviable if coal is made available to them at this price. A WCL official told FE the four companies are not coming forward to sign FSAs despite being issued LoAs.

 

Price for coal available from WCL’s cost-plus mines is 10% higher compared to CIL’s price. Unlike commercial power plants, captive projects set up by industries like textiles, steel and aluminium are not entitled for fuel supply at regulated prices and they mostly depend on the free market to meet coal needs.

 

As a policy, public sector coal suppliers sign LoAs with bulk consumers from power and other industries before formalising FSAs with them.This is meant to offer comfort to customers in the absence of FSAs.

(Source: The Financial Express, August 9, 2014)

 

NLC POWERS Q1 NET PROFIT BY 20% TO RS 334 CRORE

 

CHENNAI: Navaratna PSU Neyveli Lignite Corporation’s first quarter net profit has risen by 19.9 per cent to Rs 334.05 crore.

 

The Tamil Nadu-based company had made a net profit of Rs 278.43 crore during the corresponding period a year ago.

 

For the financial year ending 31 March, 2014, NLC’s net profit stood at Rs 1,501.88 crore, the company said in a BSE filing on Friday.

 

Total income from operations for the first quarter ending 30 June, 2014 remained flat at Rs 1,510.45 crore as against Rs 1,559.57 crore registered during the same period of previous year.

 

For the 2013-14 financial year, the total income from operations stood at Rs 5,967.23 crore.

 

The company informed that TPS-II expansion (500MW) at Neyveli and a coal-based power plant of 1000 MW at (NTPL) Tuticorin are under implementation. Both these projects are expected to be completed in the year 2014/2015. Thus, the power generating capacity will be raised to 4240 MW.

 

51 MW wind power project is coming up in Thirunelveli. A 10 MW solar power project is coming up in Neyveli and also the Neyveli New Thermal Power station (1000 MW).

(Source: Millennium Post, August 9, 2014)

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