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Punjab

Posted at: Feb 7, 2018, 1:31 AM; last updated: Feb 7, 2018, 1:31 AM (IST)

Capacity charges to private power plants reduced to half

PSPCL set to bring down figure to Rs 700 cr from Rs 1,400 cr in 2016-17
Capacity charges to private power plants reduced to half

Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6

The state government has reduced to half the capacity charges it pays to three private power plants and the National Thermal Power Corporation.

As against the charges of Rs 1,400 crore paid by Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) in 2016-17, the power utility is set to bring the figure down to around Rs 700 crore this year. This is mainly because of new initiatives in power banking and customised bilateral agreements in power purchase.

The payment of capacity charges had been part of the power policy framed by then Akali-BJP government. Under the policy, private players had been roped in for power generation in the public-private partnership mode. However, under the agreements signed by the corporation with these independent power producers, the former was to continue paying capacity charges to the latter when the plants — located at Rajpura, Talwandi Sabo and Goindwal Sahib — were not running.

As Punjab became power- surplus, these plants were not used to their optimum generation capacity, but the power utility had to pay crores of rupees to them as capacity charges.

A Venu Prasad, Managing Director, PSPCL, said they had started power banking with Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Odisha. “During the lean season — November to March — we are selling them 1585.68 MW of power that is being produced by the private plants. Thus, these plants were not shut down,” he said.

The PSPCL also sold much more power and at much higher rates on power exchange during this year. Figures available from the corporation (April-December) show that as against 151.18 million units of power sold in 2016, 790.6 units were sold till December 2017. Power was sold for Rs 46.91 crore (Rs 3.10 per unit) in 2016 and for Rs 292.94 crore (Rs 3.71 per unit) in 2017.

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