The Ministry Of Environment, Forest And Climate Change (MoEFCC) Has Issued A Draft Notification To Add A New Rule In Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006

Sep 17, 2018
Source Power Weekly Newsletter
Central Sector

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has issued a draft notification to add a new rule in Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006. The ministry is planning to make power projects, mining projects, and oil and gas exploration ventures subject to checks by independent auditors to ensure that they are complying with environmental conditions. The governmentapproved auditors will conduct random third-party compliance monitoring of environment clearance conditions.

The High Level Empowered Committee (HLEC) is in discussions with states for improving the power demand scenario. The committee has members from the ministries of coal, power, finance and railways and expected submit its report by September 29, 2018. HLEC is working on measures to ensure timely payment by state discoms to generation firms, alleviate coal supply issues, and revive stalled projects in the short term.

NTPC Limited has ruled out the possibility of scrapping power purchase agreement (PPA) signed with the Odisha government for its 1,320 MW Talcher Thermal Power Station (TTPS) Stage-III as requested by the latter. As per the terms of the PPA, the state government was to draw 50 per cent of the power generated by the upcoming project. The PPA was signed in 2010 when the state was facing power deficit but now Odisha expecting a surplus of 1,500-1,600 MW thermal power by 2019-20, while accounting for the allocation of 800 MW for the state from NTPC's upcoming 1,600 Darlipalli thermal power plant (TPP) and another 660 MW TPP being developed by Odisha Power Generation Corporation Limited.

NTPC Limited has ruled out the possibility of scrapping power purchase agreement (PPA) signed with the Odisha government for its 1,320 MW Talcher Thermal Power Station (TTPS) Stage-III as requested by the latter. As per the terms of the PPA, the state government was to draw 50 per cent of the power generated by the upcoming project. The PPA was signed in 2010 when the state was facing power deficit but now Odisha expecting a surplus of 1,500-1,600 MW thermal power by 2019-20, while accounting for the allocation of 800 MW for the state from NTPC's upcoming 1,600 Darlipalli thermal power plant (TPP) and another 660 MW TPP being developed by Odisha Power Generation Corporation Limited.

Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Limited (CIL) is planning to double the 53.1 km Jharsuguda-Sardega rail link in Odisha to scale up coal handling capacity. MCL has already invested Rs 11.25 billion on the railway line and further plans to increase the investment up to Rs 25 billion for doubling of the link. After commissioning of the second line, the handling capacity will be increased up to 40 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from 13 mtpa. The Prime Minister is set to inaugurate the Jharsuguda-Sardega line on September 22, 2018.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has eased certain norms for firms that are participating in the bids for the forthcoming 10,000 MW manufacturing-linked solar auctions. As per the amendment, the amount of bank guarantee to be submitted by developers has been reduced by around 25 per cent to Rs 4.66 billion. The ceiling tariff has also been cut to Rs 2.75 per unit instead of Rs 2.93 per unit which was set earlier. The last date for bid submission is September 27, 2018. Under the manufacturinglinked solar scheme, developers would be provided with assured PPAs against the capacity of solar module manufacturing plant they set up in the country.

State Sector

Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has proposed to set up 500 charging stations for electric vehicles across the state in the next three to four years. Under the first stage, 50 EV charging stations will be set up by March 2019 with an investment of Rs 400,000. In the latest tariff order, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission has finalised the tariff for EVs at Rs 6 per unit for the next two years.

The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) has proposed renewable purchase obligation (RPO) of 21 per cent for Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) till 2022. This would include 10.5 per cent from non-solar renewable sources, including wind, biogas, small hydropower stations and 10.5 per cent from solar generation. The state is expected to add 4,775 MW through renewable sources till 2022, which includes 4,120 MW from solar, 178.3 MW from small hydropower, 202.5 MW from biomass, 261 MW from co-generation, and 13 MW from biogas.

Private Sector

The Tata Power Company Limited and India Power Corporation Limited have submitted bids to acquire Odhisa’s Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU). The bidding companies will have the option to float joint ventures with Odisha government or acquire the license completely. The successful bidder will manage, invest and operate the distribution company for 25 years. CESU is being privatised after 17 years and is the first discom privatisation attempt after licenses for Delhi Vidyut Board were handed over to Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) and BSES discoms. CESU has a debt burden of about Rs 20 billion while its receivables are at around Rs 17 billion.

Reliance Power Limited is planning to acquire stressed coal-based power projects through a resolution process by lenders or under the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to boost its inorganic growth. The company is also planning to target opportunities in the operation and maintenance (O&M) services for stressed power projects which are currently under the review for resolution.

TPDDL is planning to employ drones for faster maintenance of its distribution network to offer better and accurate service resolution to its consumers in Delhi. The company has already used two drones in its pilot projects at Ashok Vihar and Ranibagh which were used to study the viability of drone application for surveillance of grids, sub-transmission lines network and grid equipment. The drones are expected to not only reduce the downtime but also to give better insights for future projects.

BSES Rajdhani Power Limited and BSES Yamuna Power Limited have jointly energised 1,000 rooftop solar connections in the city with a sanctioned load of over 40 MW. The maximum number of rooftop solar net metering connections are present in the domestic segment (604 kW) followed by commercial establishments (262 kW) and educational institutions (178 kW). By the end of 2018, the number of connections is likely to cross the 2,000 mark.

Projects and Ventures

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has booked orders worth Rs 409.32 billion in 2017-18, registering a 74 per cent jump from the previous financial year. The total order book of the company now stands at Rs 1,180 billion, which is the highest in the last five years. Further, the company commissioned 4,149 MW of generating capacity during the year as well as 170 MW of solar power plants.

Debt and Equity

The Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) will acquire 40 per cent of stake in CLP India Private Limited for $363.51 million. The Hongkong-listed parent company CLP Group will retain a majority 60 per cent shareholding in CLP India. With the strategic backing and financial support of both shareholders, CLP India aims to pursue a faster path of growth to a long-term sustainable business with a larger and more diversified portfolio focussing on low carbon businesses. CLP Group entered India in 2002 and is among the few of foreign investors in India's power sector. CLP India has a portfolio of projects with total generation capacity of 3,000 MW including renewable energy capacity of 1,000 MW.

Power Finance Corporation has filed an insolvency plea against Rattan India Power (formerly known as Indiabulls Power) in the NCLT to recover unpaid loans. Rattan India, which operates TPPs in Amravati and Nashik in Maharashtra, has defaulted on loans worth Rs 200 billion of lenders. In addition, lenders have commenced bankruptcy proceedings against IL&FS Tamil Nadu Power Company Limited that operates a 1,200 MW TPP in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu. Further, IDBI Bank Limited has taken GVK Power (Goindwal Sahib) Limited to the NCLT seeking insolvency resolution. The company operates a 540-Mw coal-fired power plant in Punjab

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