SOON, the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) is set to play even bigger role in the power production scenario in the country. Union Power Ministry is mulling merger of four central hydro power utilities: Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC), Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) — into a single entity where NHPC...will be taking the lead role.
NHPC’s chairman and managing director has been made the nodal officer to steer the proposed merger, which seeks to bring in greater synergy and operational efficiency.
The total combined installed capacities of the four utilities, currently at 11,000 MW, constitutes 30 per cent of the total hydropower capacity in India.
Hydropower generation is 17 percent of the total power basket in the country.
Land acquisition and rehabilitation and resettlement problems have stalled and delayed projects in the sector.
The unification, say experts, is imperative to solving the power crisis in the country.
Meanwhile, state-run SJVN has opposed the proposal to merge THDC, NEEPCO and itself with NHPC, saying such a move may not serve the national interest and the amalgamation of the hydro power units may result in higher tariff.
In a letter written to the Ministry of Power, the PSU firm has also alleged that the engagement of SBI Caps by NHPC for preparing a concept paper on 'Integration of Central Hydro PSUs in India' has been done without consulting SJVN, THDC and NEEPCO.
"SBI Caps has not taken any inputs from SJVN, THDC and NEEPCO to enable them to understand the problems and pitfalls arising out of such merger," SJVN was quoted as saying in the letter.
The company has also accused NHPC of making a "unilateral attempt" of thrusting its desire for such a proposal as the "only mandatory option".
SJVN, THDC and NEEPCO are of the view that their integration with NHPC "shall neither be national interest nor it will result in accelerated capacity addition," SJVN said, adding that the arrangement is likely to "enhance" the present tariff.
"The concept paper...as prepared by SBI Caps was not discussed by NHPC with any of the CMDs before submitting it to the Ministry of Power," SJVN said.
The company added that certain facts have not been "truly" and "appropriately" reflected in this report.
According to reports, the government has proposed amalgamation of four hydro power producers -- NHPC, SJVN, THDC and NEEPCO.