The Ministry Of Environment Forest And Climate Change Has Accorded Environmental Clearance To NTPC Limited For The 1,320 MW Talcher Expansion Thermal Power Project In Odisha

Oct 3, 2018
Source Power Weekly Newsletter
Central Sector

The Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has accorded environmental clearance to NTPC Limited for the 1,320 MW Talcher Expansion thermal power project (TPP) in Angul district of Odisha. The proposed project entailing an investment of Rs 77.32 billion is expected to be commissioned by 2022. The expansion will require 6.9 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of coal which will be supplied by Coal India Limited (CIL).

The National Board for Wildlife’s (NBWL) standing committee has approved the long-stalled 1,750 MW Lower Demwe hydroelectric project in Arunachal Pradesh. The project will be jointly executed by Athena Energy Ventures and the state government. The clearance has been given subject to six conditions which include the project to be operated at natural levels to generate power and the construction activity should commence only after signing an undertaking to abide by the study of Wildlife Institute of India (WII).

State Sector

The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has issued Delhi Electricity Supply Code and Performance Standards (Removal of Difficulty) Third Order, 2018. As per the order, in case the consumer premises is sealed by the Municipal Corporation or any government authorised agency and the consumer wants to avoid payment of fixed charges, it will be obligatory on the consumer to inform the distribution licensee for permanent disconnection of supply. The distribution licensee may remove the service line and other equipment after disconnection of supply, whenever feasible. Distribution licensee will levy fixed charges up to the date of intimation for permanent disconnection by the consumer.

Private Sector

In response to separate petitions filed by Azure Power and Prayatna Developers Private Limited (a subsidiary of Adani Power), the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has allowed the goods and services tax (GST) to be covered under the change of law clause of PPAs. The GST paid by the project developers can be recovered as a separate element on a one-time basis in a time-bound manner. In its order, CERC has given 60 days to all the respondents to pay both the petitioners compensation amounting to the change in cost due to the payment of GST during the course of project construction. CERC has declined any change in the current tariff of the two petitioners. The order paves the way for other project developers, who paid these taxes during the period when GST came in effect on July 1, 2017, are now eligible to ask for a one-time compensation owing to the increase in cost.

Essar Power Transmission Company Limited has commissioned the 337 km 400 kV Mahan-Sipat transmission line, the final leg of a 465 km transmission system consisting of three interstate transmission lines. The lines have been built at an investment of Rs 24 million of which Rs 20 billion have been spent on the Mahan-Sipat section. The 400 kV lines will help Essar Power's 1,200 MW Mahan Thermal Power Plant in Madhya Pradesh to evacuate its entire generation. The Mahan-Sipat transmission line is part of the interstate transmission system (ISTS) and it extends from Mahan in Madhya Pradesh to the Sipat pooling station in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, which is connected to the national grid. The company commissioned the 105 km 400 kV Gandhar-Hazira transmission line in April 2013. Currently, the Mahan project is fulfilling its PPA obligation to Essar Steel-Hazira through a 22-km loop-in- loop-out (LILO) on the 400 kV VindhyachalKorba line, which was also built by Essar Power and commissioned in April 2013.

Sterlite Power Grid Ventures Limited has doubled the capacity of critical transmission corridors in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh two months ahead of its scheduled completion. The upgraded transmission line on the Gajokhar-Manduadih and Varanasi Cantt-LILO point will transfer 1,600 Ampere, up from 700 Ampere earlier, resulting in a two-fold increase. The project was completed in 107 days of shutdown as opposed to 180 days as per the contract. With the completion of this project, Sterlite Power has upgraded over 2,500 circuit km of transmission lines in the country across 25 corridors

Tata Power has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) for setting up commercial scale electric vehicle charging stations at the latter’s retail outlets across country. The two companies will collaborate on the planning, development and operation of the charging stations. They will also explore collaboration in additional fields like renewable energy.

Acme Solar Holdings has commissioned a 200 MW solar power project at Bhadla Solar Park in Rajasthan. The project entails an investment of Rs 9.8 billion. The project which spreads across 1,000 acres has a capacity utilisation factor (CUF) of 30 per cent. In December 2017, Acme had won the bid to develop the solar power project by quoting the lowest tariff of Rs 2.48/kWh.

Torrent Power Limited and Adani Green Energy Limited have secured 115 MW and 300 MW of wind power capacities, respectively, by quoting the lowest price in the latest reverse auctions conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for 1,200 MW of wind power. Riyadh-based Alfanar and Sitac Kabini were awarded 300 MW each for Rs 2.77 per unit, while Ecoren Energy would develop 175 MW at the same tariff.

Projects and Ventures

Larsen & Toubro’s (L&T) construction arm has secured orders worth Rs 16.33 billion in the power transmission and distribution (T&D) segment. The orders have been secured for the main plant electrical package of units 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in Tamil Nadu, a 400/220 kV gasinsulated switchgear (GIS) substation in Andhra Pradesh and a 230 kV GIS substation in Tamil Nadu. In addition, L&T’s power arm secured two orders worth Rs 14 billion from NTPC for setting up flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) systems at its Vindhyachal super thermal power plant in Madhya Pradesh and Darlipali super thermal power project in Odisha.

Kolkata-based engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm BTL EPC Limited has secured an order worth Rs 2.28 billion from Bangladesh India Friendship Power Company Private Limited (BIFPCL). The order entails design, engineering, manufacturing supply, erection and commissioning, handing over, and operation and maintenance (O&M) of the coal handling plant conveyor package for BIFPCL’s 1,320 MW Maitree coal-based power project in Bangladesh. BIFPCL is a 50:50 joint venture between NTPC and the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB).

Debt and Equity

The central government is considering to sell its 65.61 per cent stake in Power Finance Corporation (PFC) to Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and 63.80 per cent stake in SJVN Limited to NTPC Limited. At the current market price, the sale of stake will fetch the government Rs 130 billion from the former and Rs 80 billion from the latter. The discussions are still in the preliminary stages.

North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO) has received bids worth Rs 135 million against the offered amount of Rs 3 billion for the sale of bonds through e-bidding. The bonds carried a term of seven years with the coupon rate of 9.25 per cent. The company had raised Rs 3 billion in 10-year public sector undertaking (PSU) bond issue with a coupon rate of 8.75 per cent in March 2018, and before that, Rs 5 billion in an eight-year bond issuance with coupon rate of 7.68 per cent in November 2017.

Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (CGPL) has completed the refinancing of the outstanding external commercial borrowing (ECB) loans amounting to Rs 55 billion through a mix of rupee-denominated debt instruments and equity funding from the proceeds of divestment of non-core assets of the company. The refinancing of US dollar loans of CGPL will help in rescheduling the cash requirements as well reducing the effective interest cost apart from reducing foreign exchange related volatility for CGPL.

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has deferred the hearings for the insolvency proceedings of Essar Power MP Limited operating the 1,200 MW Mahan thermal power plant in Madhya Pradesh until December 3, 2018. The case was not admitted to NCLT as it would have defied the status quo of insolvency proceedings against power companies ordered earlier by the Supreme Court.