The Central Government Has Constituted A Group Of Ministers (GoM) Headed By The Finance Minister To Examine

Dec 10, 2018
Source Power Weekly Newsletter
Central Sector

The central government has constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by the finance minister to examine the recommendations of the high level empowered committee on stressed power projects. The GoM will forward its comments for consideration to the cabinet. The high-level committee had suggested setting up a mechanism to allow public financial institutions to discount receivables from distribution companies and make upfront payments to generating companies.

The central government has shelved its plan to install 12 GW of solar capacity out of total 15 GW envisaged being bid through NTPC Limited as solar tariffs have recorded a decline in recent auctions. The company has already completed the auction of 3 GW capacity out which 2.75 GW is installed and 0.25 GW is under construction but now it is not proposed to take up Tranche II (5 GW) and III (7 GW) auctions.

State Sector

The Haryana government has started a new scheme for defaulters who have not cleared their pending electricity dues since 2005. Under the scheme, which will end on December 31, 2018, the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) is providing relaxation to consumers falling under 20 kW domestic and up to 5 kW non-domestic categories. The electricity bills pending prior to 2005 have been waived off. The scheme would also be applicable for settlement of theft cases, provided the consumer deposits 50 per cent of the assessed amount without surcharge and the compounding amount in full and withdraws the court case if any.

The Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) is planning to set up Rs 1.6 billion waste-to-energy project under a public-private-partnership (PPP) model. Bengaluru-based IDEC has proposed to set up the project and prepared a feasibility report for the same. The project is likely to come up in Kesare and Vidyaranyapuram. The project proposal is presently awaiting clearance from the state government and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board.

Captive power plants (CPPs) aggregating 7,800 MW in Odisha are facing an acute shortage of coal which is affecting their operations. The CPPs require a total coal quantity of 40 million tonnes (mt) of coal, however the supply by Mahanadi Coalfields Limited stood at only 15 mt. Major coal-based industries which are facing the fuel shortage include Vedanta Limited, Jindal Stainless Limited, Hindalco Industries Limited, JK Paper Limited, and Facor Power Limited.

Private Sector

Tata Power has written to the state governments of Punjab, Haryana and other states seeking an amendment to the power purchase agreement (PPA) for the 4,000 MW Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project based on the recommendations of the high power committee constituted by the Gujarat government. As per the claim made by Tata Power, the tariff revision will be in the range of Rs 3 per unit which is Rs 1 less than average power purchase cost. A 50 paise per unit deduction from energy charges have been recommended by the committee as a lenders’ contribution of 20 paise per unit and 30 paise against profit from coal mines.

Fortum India is planning to set up 720 facilities for charging of electric vehicles (EV) by 2020-21 across seven cities in India. The company currently operates 30 charging points in Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad. The company will have an additional 200 EV charging points by the end of 2019 and 500 additional charging points in the next two years. The cost of establishing each facility will vary between Rs 1-5 million.

Det Norske Veritas and Germanischer Lloyd (DNV GL), the world’s largest independent energy advisory and certification body, has launched its first on-site solar lab, a new mobile laboratory service for the on-site testing of photovoltaic (PV) modules in India. The new service will allow asset owners to save time, reduce cost and minimise risk by enabling flash test/I-V curve measurement and electroluminescence (EL) testing for their PV modules on-site, that would otherwise typically be conducted in a stationary laboratory. It will also provide cost-effective post-delivery, pre-installation, and post-installation quality assurance of PV modules

Torrent Power Limited (TPL) has proposed to levy an additional charge of 28 paise per unit for Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar from April 1, 2019, to recover its dues worth Rs 2.28 billion in 2019-20. It has also sought an additional charge of 14 paise per unit for Surat to recover past dues of Rs 0.47 billion in 2019- 20. The additional charge (if approved) would be temporary in nature to liquidate TPL's past under-recoveries and would not lead to any permanent increase in tariff. TPL has also urged the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) to merge Rs 1.23 per unit of existing base fuel price and power purchase adjustment (FPPPA) in the energy charges across all categories.

The Insolvency Resolution Professional has extended the deadline for submission of a resolution plan by interested parties for Essar Power’s 1,200 MW Tori thermal power project in Jharkhand to December 19, 2018. The deadline has been extended for the sixth time now. The deadline has been extended as some applicants wanted more time for due diligence. The Tori project is part of 34 stressed TPPs identified by the finance ministry. The project’s lead lender ICICI Bank moved the National Company Law Tribunal in January 2018 to recover dues of around Rs 36.26 billion.

Projects and Ventures

Suzlon Group has secured an order for development of 50.4 MW wind power project from Atria Power in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu. Suzlon will install 12 units of S111-140m and 12 units of S120-140m wind turbine generators with a hybrid lattice tubular tower with a rated capacity of 2.1 MW each. The project will be commissioned in two phases by 2019-20.

TEPSOL Projects Private Limited, a JV between Think Energy and EverStream Capital has won an order for implementing 80 MW solar project from Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited in Karnataka. This takes the firm's Karnataka portfolio to over 176 MW including 1 MW of rooftop projects spread across seven locations. The company is also developing 200 MW of solar projects in Maharashtra.

Debt and Equity

The central government’s plan sell its stake in SJVN Limited to NTPC Limited is stuck owing to delay in an approval from the Himachal Pradesh government. The state government is, reportedly, not in favour of the proposed merger of SJVN and NTPC. The sale is likely to fetch the central government about Rs 70 billion. The central government presently holds 63.79 per cent stake in SJVN, while Himachal Pradesh government holds 26.85 per cent.

Power Finance Corporation (PFC) is planning to fund its Rs 140 billion acquisition of Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) by borrowing Rs 70 billion from domestic banks. PFC is also likely to moderate its dividend payout as well as disbursements to loan accounts in 2018-19. In addition, PFC expects to receive a special dividend from REC post the acquisition.

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has signed an agreement with Green Climate Fund (GCF) to infuse $100 million for development of rooftop solar projects. The agreement is part of the $250 million project to be executed by Tata Cleantech Capital Limited which will receive the GCF support through NABARD.

Suzlon Energy is planning to sell up to 49 per cent stake in its operations and maintenance subsidiary, Suzlon Global Services, in an attempt to raise funds to reduce its debt. The company is in talks with two financial investors and looking for a valuation of Rs 80 billion for its service unit. The company aims to reduce its debt by 30 per cent to 40 per cent by the end of 2018-19 through as asset sale and other initiatives.

Hero Electric Vehicles Private Limited has raised Rs 1.60 billion from Alpha Capital Advisors, a Mumbai-based investment management firm. This fund infusion will help the company in diversifying the product portfolio, acquiring new technology and would focus on strengthening the research and development capabilities to achieve a certain rate of localisation. With this investment, Alpha Capital will get a significant minority stake in the company.