Punjab seeks documents related to power pacts

Punjab seeks documents related to power pacts

Days after assuring the Vidhan Sabha that a “white paper” on the controversial agreements would be tabled in the upcoming Budget session, the formal exercise has begun.

Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 25

The Punjab Government has initiated the process to bring out a “white paper” on the controversial power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed by the previous SAD-BJP government with three private entities for setting up power generation plants in the state.

Days after assuring the Vidhan Sabha that a “white paper” on the controversial agreements would be tabled in the upcoming Budget session, the formal exercise has begun.

The government has issued letters to the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) to give details on two counts: one, the rate at which the government was to buy power (both fixed cost and variable cost); and two, the cost of power production at private generation units and state-owned plants, official sources have confirmed.

All documents signed by the previous government with the private companies will be made part of the “white paper”.

The state government is paying a fixed power tariff of Rs3,600 crore per annum to the promoters of three power projects — Rajpura Thermal Power Plant, Talwandi Sabo Power Project and Goindwal Sahib Power Project.

Recently, two of these companies demanded additional washing charges for coal used in their generation plants to be paid retrospectively. This forced the PSPCL to impose a second power tariff hike this financial year — that of Rs0.36 per unit, leading to a public outrage. In this scenario, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh announced a “white paper”.

In the “white paper”, the PSPCL will also give details of other PPAs signed with power plants outside the state, and the rate at which power was bought from them.

A PPA with one of the private players in the state operating the 540-MW Goindwal Sahib Power Project allows them a fixed tariff of Rs2.20 per unit, while the other two private plants get Rs1.25 to Rs1.30 per unit as fixed tariff, a senior officer in PSPCL told The Tribune.

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