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The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has notified the Fees and Charges of Regional Load Despatch Centre (RLDC) and Other Related Matters Regulations, 2019

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has notified the Fees and Charges of Regional Load Despatch Centre (RLDC) and Other Related Matters Regulations, 2019

Reforms and Regulations

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has notified the Fees and Charges of Regional Load Despatch Centre (RLDC) and Other Related Matters Regulations, 2019. The regulations have guidelines regarding the fees to be collected by RLDCs from the generating companies, distribution licensees, interstate transmission licensees, buyers, sellers, and interstate trading licensees, and other users. The distribution licensees and state transmission licensees are required to pay a non-refundable, one-time registration fee of Rs 1 million for grid access. The registration fees for generating stations varies from Rs50,000 to Rs 1 million depending upon their capacity. These regulations will come into effect from the date of their publication in the official gazette and will be applicable during the control period from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2024.

The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has issued norms for coal consumption in thermal power plants (TPPs) which came into effect from April 1, 2019. The norms follow the cabinet’s decision dated March 7, 2019. As per the norms, the annual contracted quantity (ACQ) per MW entitlements for all TPPs, irrespective of their age or technical parameters, will be calculated based on normative station heat rate with an upper ceiling of 2,600 kCal/kWh. Accordingly, the normative coal requirement of different unit ratings of TPPs has been revised. In a separate development, CEA has also issued guidelines on rationalised use of high-performance conductors to promote transmission and distribution utilities to adopt them.

Central Sector

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has collaborated with EDF International Networks (EDF IN) to roll out 5 million smart meters in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh by 2020. The smart metering contract has been jointly awarded to EDF IN (95 per cent) in consortium with Accenture Solutions Private Limited (India) (5 per cent). The consortium will deliver a full range of services from meter installation to integration with the existing billing system of electric supply companies, starting with the states of Andhra Pradesh and Bihar. It will be responsible for the design of data supervisory control and management systems as well as for network operation and maintenance for a period of eight years. EDF IN is part of the French-government owned Electricite de France SA (EDF) which has installed over 17 million smart meters in the country.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has extended the bid submission deadline for 97.5 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar photovoltaic projects from April 11, 2019, to April 16, 2019. The techno-commercial bids will open on April 18, 2019. SECI had issued the request for selection (RfS) for the implementation of 97.5 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar PV projects in February 2019. The brief scope of work includes identification and site survey of rooftops, site visit, solar potential assessment, design, engineering, manufacture, supply, storage, erection, testing, commissioning, submission of project proposals, and ensuring net metering.

Coal India Limited (CIL) has reportedly selected Projects and Development India Limited (PDIL) as the successful bidder to provide engineering services for the setting up of a coal-based methanol plant in West Bengal. CIL is planning to set up a Rs 45 billion coal-based methanol plant at the Dankuni Coal Complex (DCC) of South Eastern Coalfields Limited which can produce up to 0.67 million tonnes of methanol per annum. The foray into methanol production will help CIL diversify from coal into the chemicals business.

State Sector

Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) is planning to launch a statewide drive to replace the existing energy meters with the smart ones in all the 47 towns covered under the Integrated Power Development Scheme as well as in the rural areas in Varanasi. The work related to maintaining an online inventory of smart meters, installation, and training of the staff, etc is scheduled to start from May-June, 2019. Further, the discoms have been asked to prioritise smart meter implementation in ten cities - Lucknow, Agra, Kanpur, Varanasi, Jhansi, Allahabad, Aligarh, Bareilly, Moradabad, and Saharanpur.

The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has passed an order in response to a petition by the State Bank of India (SBI) for approval of a change in ownership of Prayagraj Power Generation Company Limited (PPGCL) which had set up a 1,980 MW TPP in Bara. Due to financial losses and failure in debt service obligations, the lenders led by SBI decided to transfer the PPGCL’s ownership to Renascent Power Ventures Private Limited after competitive bidding. However, UPERC stated that the new bidder would be benefitted beyond what was contemplated at the time of the adoption of tariff for the TPP and therefore asked for a reduction in tariff. Following the failure of the petitioner and Renascent Power to submit tariff reduction proposal, UPERC has calculated that the gain on account of increase in normative availability, sale of uncontracted power and savings in station heat rate sums up to Rs 0.22 per unit in addition to 0.17 per unit by way of reduction in interest cost. Therefore, the total gain worked out by the commission stood at Rs 0.39 per unit. The commission has called for sharing of this gain between the generator and the consumers in the ratio of 65:35.

Private Sector

Adani Power Limited (APL) has secured a letter of intent to acquire Korba West Power Company Limited (KWPSCL) from the committee of creditors (CoC). KWPCL owns and operates a 600 MW TPP in Raigarh district in Chhattisgarh and is currently undergoing insolvency resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. The CoC has approved the resolution plan submitted by APL. However, the closure of the transaction will be subject to obtaining the necessary approval from the National Company Law Tribunal and satisfaction of the conditions precedent under the resolution plan.

Projects and Ventures

GE Power India has secured an order worth Rs 1,420 million from NTPC Limited for supply and installation of low nitrogen oxide (NOx) combustion system for 10 GW of thermal power plant capacity across India. It is the first project to have been awarded at such a large scale by NTPC. The project involves in-combustion system modification of the boiler by staging the combustion air in the furnace to reduce the generation of fuel and thermal NOx during the combustion process.

Debt and Equity

NTPC and ReNew Power Limited are planning to submit bids for acquiring assets in the ongoing sale of PTC India Limited’s wind power business. The sale could fetch a valuation of around Rs 20 billion. The process had also seen interest from other buyers such as CLP Holdings Limited, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), and Hero Future Energies.

Bajaj Energy Limited (BEL) has filed the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) for an initial public offering with the Security Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to raise Rs 54.50 billion. The offer comprises a fresh issue of shares up to Rs 51.50 billion by BEL and an offer-for-sale of equity shares by Bajaj Power Ventures aggregating up to Rs 3 billion. BEL intends to acquire Lalitpur Power Generation Company Limited’s (LPGCL) 1,980 MW TPP in Uttar Pradesh from the proceeds of the offer.

ABB India’s board has approved the demerger of its power grid business to ABB Power Products and Systems India Limited (APPSIL). After the demerger, the minority shareholders will be issued one share of APPSIL for every five shares held in ABB India. The proposed demerger is expected to assist the current power grids division to independently pursue the business excellence built over a long period in the power infrastructure.

Avaada Energy Private Limited (AEPL) has secured financing of about Rs 10 billion ($143.8 million) in the form of equity infusion from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), German development bank – DEG, Dutch development finance company- the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO), and promoters’ equity. AEPL has set a target to develop 5 GW capacity of clean energy projects across Asia and Africa over the next two years. The funding is expected to be used to develop a portfolio of 2.4 GW of renewable energy projects.

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