Friday, February 7, 2014

10 things you should know about the NTPC-discom row in Delhi

NTPC power station
COME February 11, as high as 70 percent of Delhiities would have faced a total blackout had Supreme Court not directed state-owned power generation company National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) not to disconnect power supply to two BSES distribution companies until its next hearing of a case on March 26, 2014. Though there is a relief for the next 47 days, the story of Delhi’s "power struggle" is just unfolding. India's apex court on Friday heard a petition filed by Capital’s Reliance Group-owned two discoms challenging the notice by NTPC threatening to cut power supply to the discoms. Here are the 10 things you should know about the ongoing power-row between NTPC and discoms..
1.State-run NTPC is seeking Rs 324 crore from BSES Yamuna and Rs 368 crore from BSES Rajdhani for electricity supplied in December and January. NTPC says it supplies power to many other discoms and so has to be fair to all and can't make exception.
2. NTPC, on February 1, issued notices to BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna for defaulting on payment security mechanism and non-payment of outstanding dues to the Maharatna PSU.
3. Discoms have been at loggerheads with the Delhi government. Discoms say they will be forced to blackout large parts of Delhi as low tariffs leave them with no money to buy electricity or pay for power purchased in December. The state government has threatened to cancel licences if discoms resort to power cuts. BSES is asking for higher tariffs so that it can recover their claims of Rs 15,000 crore which the discoms want consumers to pay for. 
4. Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has not accepted this claim and has also asked the state government to release subsidy payments and payment of Rs 118 crore bill for street lights since 2011.
5. Present allocation of power to BSES Rajdhani from NTPC stations is l26l MW and for BSES Yamuna 811 MW. BSES meets up to 70 percent power demand of Delhi through the two discoms and it has demanded that Delhi government pay up Rs 450 crore it owes to the discoms.
BSES Rajdhani distributes power to over 18.5 lakh customers in south and west Delhi whereas BSES Yamuna has 13.5 lakh customers in central and east Delhi.
6. On February 4, NTPC CMD Arup Roy Choudhury said: "We are in a difficult situation. If we are not paid in time, we will have to regulate nearly 2,000 MW of power, we have (other) buyers for it." Choudhury said the companies have a history of payment issues. He said, "This is not the first notice on BSES. They have been constantly defaulting in their payment security mechanism and this time it is the outstanding dues also. With BSES, this is the third time we are facing problems. We do not have TPA (Third Party Protection Audit) with the Delhi government like other governments. The discoms (in other states) are saved by state governments through the TPAs, under which we get payment from the states under the state allocation."
7. For energy supplied in December, NTPC paid Coal India in October and November and 75-80 per cent of the electricity tariff is cost of coal.
8. There are no payment issues with Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited, another discom which supplies electricity in the National Capital.
9. Presently, NTPC generates power from Coal and Gas. With an installed capacity of 42,454 MW, NTPC is the largest power generating major in the country.
10.With 17 coal-based power stations, NTPC is the largest thermal power generating company in the country. The company has a coal-based installed capacity of 33,015 MW. NTPC’s Dadri power station in UP produces 1820MW power.

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