The Central Government Is Likely To Resume Allotting Coal To Merchant Power Plants That Supply Electricity To The Short-term Market.

Oct 6, 2018
Source Power Weekly Newsletter
Central Sector

The central government is likely to resume allotting coal to merchant power plants that supply electricity to the short-term market. At present, domestic coal is provided only to plants having long- and medium-term power purchase agreements (PPAs). The proposed move will benefit projects that are stressed owing to a lack of fuel supply agreements due to the absence of medium- and long-term PPAs. The proposal is based on a recent analysis that the short-term power market has been fairly beneficial for meeting the electricity demand. An empowered committee on stressed thermal power plants, headed by cabinet secretary is reportedly studying the proposal.

portedly studying the proposal. Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (Powergrid) expects a market opportunity of Rs 500 billion for setting up Green Energy Evacuation Corridors by 2022. The central government has set a target to add 100 GW of solar power which will require an additional transmission capacity of at least 60,000 MW by 2022. These projects will be announced over the next two years and cost nearly Rs 500 billion. In the past few years, as the addition of conventional power generation capacity has declined, there has been a slowdown in the demand for transmission projects but demand is picking up now owing to the growth of renewable energy.

NTPC Limited will shut down the 705 MW Badarpur Thermal Power Station (BTPS) in Delhi on October 15, 2018. The closure of BTPS has been delayed owing to non-commissioning of the Tughlakabad substation by Powergrid, which was supposed to be ready last year, as there were no alternate lines to feed power to South Delhi. For the past three years, the BTPS was shut down during winter as an immediate measure to control air pollution in Delhi NCR.

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has extended the deadline of 10 GW solar project tender linked with 3 GW solar equipment manufacturing to October 12, 2018, because of lack of response from the project developers. Reportedly, only one bidder Azure Power had submitted the bid under the tender. The National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers has announced a two-day pan-India strike on January 8 and 9, 2018 against the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2014. About 1.5 million employees of power utilities are expected to join the strike.

State Sector

Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has been ranked as the top power seller at the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) and has sold Rs 4.26 billion worth of power to other states during September 2018. PSPCL has sold around 744 MUs at an average price of Rs 5.73 per unit. The achievement took place without imposing any power cuts in the state.

Gridco Limited has evinced interest in procuring the entire power output from NHPC Limited’s proposed 40 MW solar photovoltaic power project in Ganjam, Odisha. NHPC has received the approval of setting the solar plant with an investment of Rs 1.96 billion. The land required for the project will be allotted by state nodal agency Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation and the power produced will be evacuated by Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited.

Private Sector

Private transmission developers have approached the Prime Minister’s Office seeking the reconstitution of the National Committee on Transmission to accord a level playing field for them. The developers allege that presence of the representative of Powergrid on NCT gives an unfair advantage to the utility in securing tariff-based competitive bidding projects. The concerns of private companies increased after the 37th meeting of the Empowered Committee on Transmission approved the allocation of five transmission schemes to Powergrid under the regulated tariff mechanism.

Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) has reported an annual loss of Rs 1.5 billion due to power theft in some pockets of its distribution area. The discom’s aggregate technical and commercial losses range between 50 per cent and 60 per cent, against the overall figure of 8.4 per cent, in 24 villages in Narela and Bawana areas. In a separate development, TPDDL has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Green Business Certification Institute to promote, implement and accelerate the uptake of smart grid technologies and sustainable power systems in India, Asia, Africa and Middle East. It aims to bring together relevant technical competencies and share resources, tools and information more efficiently.

An expert panel under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has put on hold Adani Power Dahej Limited’s request to extend the validity of its environment clearance. APDL is developing the 2,600 MW Dahej coal-based power project in Gujarat. The company had sought extending the validity of environmental clearance dated October 2011 which was valid till October 2016 for further period five years, i.e. till October 2023. MoEFCC’s panel decided to defer the approval after it noted that actual construction work of the power plant has not been started yet. APDL cited the absence of PPA for a delay in the start of work on the project.

The spot power prices touched Rs 18.20 per unit on October 4, 2018, at the IEX – the highest spot price discovered since trading began on the exchanges a decade ago. The average spot power price at the exchange was Rs 7.49 per cent unit, a 75 per cent hike on a year-on-year basis. The increase in spot prices can be attributed to coal supply issues, declining wind and hydel power production, and partial generation availability of about 40 GW of stressed thermal power assets due to the shortage of working capital.

Projects and Ventures

KEC International has secured orders worth Rs 11.59 billion in transmission and distribution (T&D) business in domestic and international markets. The domestic orders include a contract from Powergrid for executing a 132 kV transmission line package and associated substations in north-eastern India. Other orders include 225 kV double circuit overhead transmission line and substations in Mali and Senegal, and 132 kV transmission line and substations in Oceania.

Kalpataru Power Transmission Limited (KPTL) has secured two orders worth Rs 11.45 billion in power and infrastructure sectors. The orders include design, supply and construction of 500 kV transmission lines in Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) regions and 230 kV transmission lines in Africa totalling to Rs 6.44 billion. In addition, the company secured Rs 5.01 million order for railway infrastructure construction from Rail Vikas Nigam Limited.

Debt and Equity

Aditya Birla Finance Limited (ABFL) has secured a term loan of Rs 10 billion from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for a period of seven years to finance the renewable energy projects. IFC would also help ABFL to develop renewable energy programme by providing long tenor financing, knowledge sharing and setting of standards. The IFC green loan which was sanctioned in March 2018 is an Indian rupee loan under track III of the Reserve Bank of India's guidelines for external commercial borrowings.

The first assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA) has approved an annual budget of $9 million for 2019 and 2020. The assembly also approved five major programmes focusing on areas such as solar agricultural pump sets, rooftop solar installations and minigrids which will be taken up for implementation in member countries. The programme will be funded by Schneider Foundation, Tata Foundation and Philips Foundation. India has put in $16 million to the ISA in a one-time corpus, apart from the annual commitment of $2 million in the first five years. In addition, public sector undertakings like SECI, IREDA, NTPC, Powergrid, REC, PFC, CIL and PFC have also contributed $1 million each.

ACME Solar is planning to sell 650 MW of solar capacity to raise funds for projects in its pipeline. Acme is also planning to raise around Rs 30 billion through an infrastructure investment trust (InvIT) as it needs funds to set up over 2,500 MW capacity in over two years. It currently has an operational solar capacity of 2.4 GW and an under-development pipeline of about 3 GW.

Neccon Power & Infra Limited has filed its Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India for its initial public offering (IPO). The company plans to issue shares worth Rs 12.7 million of face value of Rs 10 each. The Assam-based company provides EPC services in T&D, undertakes turnkey projects, and manufactures overhead conductors, ground wires and galvanised iron wires.