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Powerinfo Weekly

Volume 1(17); August 28 September 3,


Power woes

Lack of power and inadequate distribution infrastructure are costing businesses in low and lowermiddle-income countries dear. Losses due to electrical outages, measured as a proportion of
annual sales, are the highest in South Asia (6.5%)...

The Economic Times; September 1, 2015

Piyush Goyal confident of power generation doubling in 7 years

Kolkata: India will be able to double its power generation in the next seven years, Union Coal and
Power Minister Piyush Goyal, said. Very clearly, as we work to provide energy access to every
citizen of India 24X7 and as we work to eliminate diesel-generated power, sadly we still have
several thousands of crores of rupees (spent) on diesel-generated power, which is much more
expensive. The cost is borne by the people of the country directly or indirectly, Goyal said during a
BCC&I programme.
All of these are sought to be replaced by thermal, gas, nuclear and renewable power and this will
generate great demand. I am confident that in the next 7 years or so, India will be able to double
its electricity generation from 1 trillion units to two trillion units, he said.
This will resolve the problem that stranded plants (do face) and will help in consuming the large
amount of renewable energy out of 17,500 megawatts we are setting up. He felt that the cost of
generation and production should be cut down. My concern is that the cost of generation and
transmission must come down by efficiency. We have to cut down the power theft and reduce
technical losses, he said.
The Financial Express; August 29, 2015 (Edited)

$250 billion opportunity to invest in renewables: Piyush Goyal

In the next 2-3 years, India will not depend on coal imports, except for coking coal, says
power minister
New Delhi: India has a $250 billion investment oppor-tunity in the renewable energy space, said
Piyush Goyal, minister of power, coal and renewable energy, at Mints fifth energy conclave. This
includes peripheral transmit-ssion and generation segments as well. India plans to have 100,000
MW of solar energy capacity by 2022. The government has also set a target of generating 60,000
MW from wind power by then. Renewable energy currently accounts for 13%, or 35,777 MW, of the
total installed capacity of 274,818MW.
Goyal said that in the next 2-3 years, India will not be dependent on coal imports except for coking
coal. The Indian coal sector, with one of the 5 highest reserves in the world, today imports coal
worth $20 billion a year, as domestic production lags demand - partly a function of the
inefficiencies built up in the decades since nationalization. I would say not only for fuel but for
equipment, technology, maintenance, servicing, inno-vation in the power sector, the coal sector
and the renewable energy sector, except for coking coal, which is yet not explored adequately, I
am confident that in the given 3-4 years, India will not have any import depen-dence at all, he
He added that India has done exceedingly well in terms of equipment and on the solar energy side.
I dont think well have any more import dependence in terms of LEDs, energy efficiencies, in
terms of equipment for the cells and modules that is raw material. Im quite sure given the huge

impetus the industry is focusing on or the govern-ment is trying, we shall soon have more
manufacturing companies coming to India, he said.
Goyal said India will not have a single incandescent bulb in the country, and hopefully no CFLs
either, in 3 years. I am talking about 3 years replacing 7 years, 770 million LED bulbs in peoples
homes and just the programme we are looking at will save 100 MU of energy consumption - that is
10,000 crore units of electricity, and the benefit goes straight into your pocket, he added.
Goyal also reiterated that India has around 18,500 villages that are still to be electrified. In 1,000
days, we will have a situation where all 597,000 villages will have energy access. We have
allocated central funds for it, he added. He said that the government has taken a pledge to
provide 24x7 power, which is the right of every citizen and will be taken up as a mission. I assure
that every household will get energy. Especially the eastern part of India has been deprived of their
rights. It has to be a shared responsibility that people staying in forests, tribals, villages in UP and
Bihar have access to these basic amenities. For any development, I believe it is important to have
electricity. You cant have huge investments and say wait, youll have to wait until electricity is
made available to you, Goyal said.
LiveMint; September 1, 2015 (Edited)

Power prices may be cut to boost rural supply

Kolkata: The Centre plans to supply affordable electricity to rural households by creating huge
demand for setting up solar and thermal power capacities, and cutting aggregate transmission and
commercial losses. It does not plan to come up with any bailout package for power utilities, but
instead help bring down power prices and reduce AT&C losses so that affordable power can be
supplied to rural India. By 2020, the government aims to supply electricity to the entire 200 million
rural popu-lation that does not have access to power. It intends to expand power generation
capacity to 800 GW by 2030 and to fuel this it is aiming at a coal production of 1.5 BT by 2020.
Citing an example, coal and power minister Piyush Goyal said, The cost of solar power generation
was as high as 17-18 per unit a few years ago.
With demand for solar the cost of generation is now down to about 5 per unit and it fell rapidly in
the last 3-4 years. Power generation costs will fall further. Goyal said at present some villages do
have power connection but not all houses in a village have connection. There are some 20-22
households that do have access to power. We are working on a holistic plan to provide access.
ET View: Power Play
One instance of respite for power investors is not good enough. There is no getting away from
changing the politics of the power sector. Even today, 30% of the power that is generated is not
paid for - some is lost due to technical reasons, the bulk is stolen. Politicians must learn to
understand that patronising power theft and unfunded power giveaways are anti-national. When
the power sector turn economically unviable, it starves the economy of power, and investors who
burn their fingers in power write all of India off as a risky investment destination.
The Economic Times; August 31, 2015 (Edited)

Arvind Panagariya launches

India Energy Security Scenarios
New Delhi: Dr. Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, has launched the India Energy
Security Scenarios (IESS) 2047 Version 2.0 and unveiled the IESS website along with the
documents at a conference organized by FICCI in partnership with NITI Aayog. Dr. Panagariya said
that IESS would become a very useful tool for framing the National Energy Policy. IESS would
enable decision makers to take a detailed view of Indias emerging energy scenario, and help in
effectively deciding the right mix of appropriate technology interventions and measures towards
maximizing indigenous fuel supplies towards meeting the countrys energy challenges.
Alluding to the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference, Paris COP 21, Dr. Panagariya
said that IESS would also provide critical inputs to researchers and think tanks to formulate Indias
Intended Nationally Deter-mined Contributions (INDCs), which have to be submitted soon. Dr.
Alexander Evans, Britains Deputy High Commi-ssioner in New Delhi, said that IESS website is userfriendly and reflects innovation and fresh thinking. He said the number of assumptions available
with respect to demand and supply of energy and energy guzzling sectors, would facilitate the
Indian government, industry and stakeholders to formulate a holistic energy policy and an
appropriate energy mix for the future.
In his presentation on IESS, Mr. Anil Kumar Jain, Adviser (Energy), NITI Aayog, said that detailed
examination of the tool would reveal how changes in choices of energy demand and supply,
yielding different levels of energy import can help a planner to decide the sector(s) in which
interventions can be more effective to meet the desired policy objectives. He added that a new
feature has been added in Version 2.0 which is cost information and captures the difference in cost
of the chosen pathway vis-a-vis the default pathway.

Dr. V.K. Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog, said that the county was dealing with the issues of
depleting resources and growing energy demand. Also, India was looking forward to becoming a
developed nation, which meant that energy demand would increase, making it imperative to
increase the share of clean energy and use of carbon efficient fuel for sustainable growth. Here,
IESS would become an effective tool for understanding implications of the choices made.
Dr. Bibek Debroy, Member, NITI Aayog, said that IESS would soon be available as a mobile app.
IESS would allow sensitivity analysis with its contingent of future assumptions. The tool provides
hundreds of scenarios with different combinations of levels/efficiencies of energy demand and
supply sectors, enabling to define the future energy consumption.
The Financial Express; August 29, 2015 (Edited)

Rajasthan looks to adopt

Gujarat power reforms
Rate increase, remodelled business, debt recast
New Delhi: The proposed changes in the Electricity Act, 2005, are yet to be placed in Parliament,
but Rajasthan will initiate draft rules even before they are finalised by the Centre. State
government officials said Rajasthan would adopt the Gujarat model of electricity reforms to bring
down transmission losses and mounting debt. Gujarat de-merged its power entities and redesigned
them financially with regular rate revisions and technical reforms. "We are separating the
agricultural feeder. We also plan to reduce transmission losses from 30% to 15% in the next few
years," Rajasthan chief secretary C S Rajan said.
Rajasthan's 3 discoms have 80,000-crore debt. "Around 52,000 crore was accumulated
between 2008 and 2013. The losses are because of excessive borrowings, but the state
government has never faulted on loan and interest repayments," said Rajan. "We are in talks with
banks to reduce the interest rate, which on average is 12.5%. There is a certain amount the state
government has borrowed at 13-15% interest rate," he added.
The 3 distribution companies have applied to the electricity regulator for raising power rates by 1012%. The government is also planning to take over at least 50% of these companies' losses in the
next 3 years. "The Union power ministry has asked the state government to take over the losses in
one year. The state government, however, feels bids for the distribution franchise.
"The new company will make sale and purchase of power more efficient. Rajasthan is power
surplus at night and Delhi is deficient during summer nights. Rajasthan can sell its surplus to Delhi.
The government and private experts will be roped in for better functioning of the company," Rajan
said. Rajasthan has 17,228 MW capacity, 10,225 MW is thermal and 4,710 MW is from renewable
sources. The state's peak monthly demand is close to 8,000 MW. Officials said to ensure proper
billing, the state had set up 9 police stations exclusively for the purpose of preventing power theft.
Business Standard; September 3, 2015 (Edited)

Bengal govt looks to overhaul power sector

Kolkata: The WB government is drawing up a strategic business plan and road map to overhaul the
power sector. The blueprint being developed by the West Bengal Electricity Regulatory
Commission, focuses on distribution and transmission, standard of performance and consumer
services, renewable energy and energy conservation and use and application of IT. The objective of
the strategy paper is to address a number of issues like poor quality of power in a number of areas,
wide voltage fluctuation and tripping of lines due to rain/wind, break-down of lines and equipment
causing frequent outrages in supply and high AT&C loss. It will also discuss weak distribution
network, differential tariff, gap in peak and off-peak demand, fuel availability and quality, poor
operating practice and substantial commercial loss, Rabindra Nath Sen, chairperson, WBERC, said.
Financial Chronicle; September 2, 2015 (Edited)


R-Power asks PFC to buy out Sasan UMPP
Firm is protesting de-allocation of Chhatrasal coal block, linked to the project
Bhopal/New Delhi: After pulling the plug from the 4,000-MM UMPP in Tilaiya, Jharkhand, Reliance
Power Ltd has asked the Union government-promoted PFC to buy out its Sasan UMPP, citing a
"breach of representation". The company is protesting the de-allocation of the Chhatrasal coal
block, which was linked to the project in MP. In a letter to the ministry of power and PFC, the nodal
agency for bidding of UMPPs, RPL said cancellation of the coal block attached to the project was
disregard of the bid agreement.
"RPL is also not obliged to perform any of the obligations arising out of its submission of bid for the
development of the Sasan UMPP and selection as the successful bidder," said the letter, dated July
17. "In view of the government having altered the very foundation of the bid process leading to the
bid contract, it is requested that within a period of 7 days from the date hereof, PFC, the entity

which sold the entire equity shareholding of Sasan Power Ltd to RPL, purchase the entire
shareholding in SPL, along with all its assets and liabilities from RPL," said the letter. The company
has filed a case against the ministries of coal and power, as well as PFC, on the cancellation of the
coal block.
The move would be a major blow to the UMPP programme and the NDA government's drive to
invite private investment in the infrastructure sector. Of the 4 UMPPs awarded, only 2 are
operational - Sasan and Mundra (operated by Tata Power), which is also involved in a legal tussle
over 'compensatory tariff'. RPLs Krishna-patnam UMPP has remained a non-starter, owing to land
allocation issues. The company announced an exit from the Tilaiya UMPP in April this year, after
awaiting clearances for 5 years. The Sasan UMPP achieved full commissioning in March 2015. The
project was awarded to the company in 2007, when it bid the lowest rate of 1.19 a unit for sale of
power. In August last year, a Supreme Court judgment had cancelled all coal block allocations
through the past 2 decades, except the ones awarded to UMPPs on a bidding basis. It also asked
the UMPPs not to use surplus coal from attached mines for commercial purposes. When the project
was awarded, Sasan UMPP had 3 mines - Moher, Moher Amlrohi extension and Chhatrasal.
According to RPLs letter, the Union government had promised to allocate the 3 mines, with an
aggregate capacity of 760 MT. In May this year, the coal ministry cancelled the allocation of the
Chhatrasal block, saying the 3 mines exceeded the amount of coal to be used by the plant and
"surplus coal cannot be used by the promoter". At that time, a senior company executive had said
that the company wasn't challenged in terms of blocks for which competitive bidding was held for
the lowest tariff for power for UMPPs. On July 31, the company approached court, contesting the
government's move to take away one of the 3 blocks attached with the plant. The company's plea
in the Delhi Court also stated PFC should buy the entire shareholding. The company has argued the
coal reserves of the 2 mines aren't enough for the power plant to run at a PLF of 85% for the PPA
term of 25 years. It would also hurt the capital investment already made, the plea said.
Business Standard; August 29, 2015 (Edited)

NTPC Director congratulates

Vindhyachal Plant staf
Bhopal: KK Sharma, Director (Operations), NTPC inspec-ted the Unit number 13 of Vindhyachal
Thermal Power Project accompanied by Saptarshi Roy, RED (North) and Dinesh Kumar, GM (O&M),
Vindhyachal. Sharma visited the Stage 4 Wagon Trippler area and the Stage 5, 500 MW Unit
number 13 which was synchronised on August 6 bringing the total installed capacity of Vindhyachal
to 4760 MW. Speaking to senior executives at a brief meeting, Sharma congratulated Team
Vindhyachal for achieving the target of synchronisation within record time and making it the
largest power project of the country. During the presentation on Vindhyachal made by operations
and project group, Sharma laid special emphasis on increasing efforts for Energy Conservation,
environment management and ash utilisation.
The Free Press Journal; August 28, 2015 (Edited)

State gets additional power projects

Lucknow: In a major decision to ease the power crisis, the UP government has decided to augment
2190 MW of additional electricity by setting up 3 thermal power projects of 660 MW each besides
approving 15 solar power projects of 215 MW across the state.
While one 660 MW thermal power project would come up in Harduaganj, 2 other units of 660 MW
each would be set up in Etah. The state cabinet which met in Lucknow approved the proposal. The
thermal project would be set up in Harduaganj by Toshiba JSW Power Systems Pvt Ltd, Chennai
under single EPC package. In an international bid, Toshiba quoted the minimum price of 3436.61
crore. The project would be completed in 4 years and state will start getting 660 MW of electricity
by 2019, Yadav said.
The other 2 thermal power project units will come up in Malawan village of Etah and would be set
up by UP State Power Generation Corp Ltd. The total cost of the project is expected to be 8078.56
crore. The construction work will start from May 2016 and production will start from 2020-21. The
state will get the total share of 1320 MW of electricity, informed the CM.
The state cabinet has also approved UPNEDAs proposal to set up 15 projects under tariff-based
bidding to generate 215 MW of electricity. Adani Green Energy Ltd, Gujarat will set up 2 units of 50
MW each, while Sukhbir Agro Energy Ltd will set up 20 MW power units. Besides companies from
Chennai, Delhi, Kanpur, Hyderabad and Lucknow would set up solar units at different rates.
The cabinet has also approved the proposal to waive off VAT on natural gas required for NTPC
projects in Dadri. This rebate would be applicable only for incremental generation of power, over
and above the PLF.
The Pioneer; September 2, 2015 (Edited)

Despite debt burden,


TN plans mega power plant

4,000MW project in Ramnad to cost 24,000 cr
Chennai: Tangedco, may be hugely debt-ridden, but that has not prevented the state government
from unveiling a plan to set up a mega 4,000 MW thermal power plant in Kadaladi taluk in
Ramanathapuram district at an estimated cost of 24,000crore. The announcement comes at a
time when 4 thermal projects in the state are under litigation and Tangedco is reeling under severe
financial strain due to accumulated losses running into several thousand crores of rupees. For
Tangedco, taking on the burden of even a small percentage of the investment would not be easy.
But, the plan, sources said, was to get a loan of 70% of the estimated cost from REC and an equity
of 30% from the state government.
Investors of power projects say it would be difficult for Tangedco to get funds from financial
institutions due to its poor credit rating. The latest experience is with solar investors. The cost per
unit is high in the state as our financial cost is also high, a former TNEB chief said. While the
audited financial results of Tangedco is yet to be released for 2014-15, sources said the losses for
the year is estimated at 12,000 crore.
The losses may be marginally lower when compared to the previous year, but the accumulated
losses are a big concern for the distribution company. This was despite the government infusing
funds as capital and guaran-teeing Tangedco's loans. The plan was to have five 800 MW units and
the district administration and TNEB have already identified about 3,000 acres at Nallampatti
village. The nearby Tuticorin port has been identified to handle imported coal for the plant.
Making a suo motu announcement in the assembly, CM J. Jayalalithaa said work on the project
would commence after getting mandatory clearances from the agencies concerned. Several
schemes have been announced by me to realize the target of 20,000 MW envisaged in the vision
2023 document, in a bid to make the state self-sufficient in the power sector, she said. Tangedco
would soon identify a consultant and get a detailed project report by November 30. Jayalalithaa
also announced sub-stations in Chennai, Ariyalur and Coimbatore districts at a cost of 6791 crore.
The Times of India; September 2, 2015 (Edited)

Thermal power plant at Khurja

gets PIB clearance
Lucknow: The Public Investment Board (PIB) gave its approval for starting pre-construction
activities in Khurja, Bulandshahr, for setting up the 1,900 MW Super Thermal Power plant by Tehri
Hydro Develop-ment Corp (THDC) and the UP government. Clearing the land acquisition hurdle that
has blocked the project's progress so far, the PIB sanction will now allow it to release additional
funds to UP government through UP State Industrial Development Corp for ex-gratia payment to
farmers from whom 1,200 acres of land was acquired for the project. The Central clearance will
also allow THDCIL to submit a Detailed Project Report (DPR), and to prepare the ground, literally,
for kickstarting work on the main power project.
MD, UPSIDC, Manoj Kumar Singh, said, The project, once it is commissioned, will help tide over
power crises in the Noida, Greater Noida and DMIC belts. THDC has also, already , entered into a
PPA with 5 beneficiary states - UP, Uttarakhand, Delhi, HP and Rajasthan.t In May 2015, THDC had l
petitioned the PIB for permission to incur expenditure of 585 crore, of which 387.18 d crore has
to be given to UPSIDC towards ex-gratia payment to farmers. Even though land acquired by
UPSIDC was muta-ted in its name for industrial use, its physical possession could not be taken by
UPSIDC due to demand for higher compensation by land owners. Following clearance, UPSIDC will
now be able to pay ex-gratia to farmers at the rate of 721 per sqm, the enhanced amount after
adjusting the amount already paid by UPSIDC. The 1,900 MW Super Thermal Power Project is
expected to mitigate power shortage in the northern region. Though the power ministry has still
not allocated coal blocks for power plants under the 13th Plan - Khurja STPP among them - senior
officials said THDC has already submitted an application for long-term coal linkage with Mahanadi,
Machhkate, Chandipada and Chandipada II, and Mara II Mahan blocks respectively.
The Times of India; August 29, 2015 (Edited)

AP cancels order allotting land

for NCC power plant
Hyderabad: The AP Government has decided to cancel the land allotted in Sompeta in Srikakulam
district for setting up a thermal power station. Ever since the project was announced, it faced stiff
opposition from the locals. The locals have been opposing the project citing environmental
problems due to the dust and pollution from the thermal plant. State information and public
relations minister P Raghunatha Reddy said the cabinet has decided to convert the 927.6 acres
given to NCC Ltd thermal project will be converted into a multi-product industries zone. The
minister said the land can be used by the company to set up agri-based industries instead. The

Cabinet took a decision to cancel GO No 1107 issued in 2008. The company had purchased land
through AP Industrial Infrastructure Corp. Three persons were killed in police firing when a large
group of farmers and fisher-men, protested against setting up of thermal power project in July in
2010.The company had acquired 972 acres of land allotted by the AP government. It has also
purchased some land from private owners specifically for setting up of the thermal power plant at
Financial Chronicle; August 29, 2015 (Edited)

Breach in Ropar thermal plant channel

Ropar: The micro-hydel channel of Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant developed a breach,
flooding fields in adjoining villages near Ropar. While power generation was stopped at one of the
units, farmers in the affected villages said their crops worth lakhs of rupees had been hit due to
leakage of hot water from the channel. Plant chief engineer V.K. Garg ordered reduction of
discharge, following which one of the generation units was shut down. Garg said the embankment
of the channel was being strengthened.
The Tribune; August 31, 2015 (Edited)

Contractors' Pay: Notice to Govt, GMR

Cuttack: Acting on multiple writ petitions filed by Dinesh Engineering and other contractors alleging
non-payment of their dues, a single judge bench of Orissa High Court Justice BK Nayak has issued
notice to the State Government and GMR Power Plant to file their responses. The petitioners, all
contractors, have alleged insensitivity and apathy by the State administration in ensuring payment
of dues though they invested man-power and money in setting up of a mega power plant by GMR
Kamalanga Energy Ltd through its civil contractor SEPCO Electric Power Construction Corp, a Chinabased company. According to the petitioners, GMR entered into a MoU in 2006 with the Odisha
Governments Energy Department to establish a 1,000 MW coal-based thermal power project at
Kamalanga in Dhenkanal.
For construction of the plant, GMR entered into an EPC contract with SEPCO. The Chinese company
engaged local contractors who executed the work but the dues have not been paid to them even
after repeated represent-tations. The petitioners stated that even after satisfactory completion of
their works, SEPCO and GMR failed to pay the outstanding dues of the contractors who approached
the district office seeking intervention.
Under the MoU, the State Government had asked GMR to provide local employment. The 2
companies, though have admitted to the outstanding dues before the district administration, have
been shifting the responsibility on each other. The contractors said since they were left in the lurch,
they had no option but to knock the doors of the High Court through a batch of writ applications.
The HC heard the cases and issued notices to the State as well as GMR and SEPCO.
The New Indian Express; September 1, 2015 (Edited)

RITES Ltd to soon begin work

at proposed NTPC plant site
Raigarh: RITES Ltd, the public sector engineering consultancy company specialising in transport
infra-structure development will soon commence work for building in-plant yard infrastructure for
the Railways in the proposed plant site of NTPC Ltds upcoming 3x800 MW super thermal power
project at Lara in Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh. The coal requirement for the proposed plant
would be met from Talaipalli Coal Block of Mand in Raigarh Coalfields, officials stated. The proposed
work to be taken up by RITES at the plant site would comprise construction of major and minor
bridges besides other works. The project is expected to be com-pleted within 18 months from the
date of commenc-ement of the construction work, officials stated.
The Pioneer; September 3, 2015 (Edited)

Government to rationalise
coal prices, says Piyush Goyal
CIL shifted from UHV to GCV-based pricing prior to its maiden IPO, to price coal on
international parity prices
Kolkata: The coal ministry will rationalise coal prices aligning it with gross calorific value (GCV), so
that the price disparity is eliminated across various grades of coal. Coal and power minister Piyush
Goyal said. As certain grades were not being priced properly, We need to rationalise pricing based
on GCV, Goyal said. He made it clear that rationalising coal prices didnt mean downward revision
of coal prices to bring parity with falling inter-national prices. Indian coal prices were never benchmarked with international prices and any rationalisation will not be aligned with international
prices, Goyal said.

CIL shifted from UHV to GCV-based pricing prior to its maiden IPO, to price coal on international
parity prices. Since CIL offered coal at a deep discount of up to 50%, the company advised the
government to change the pricing mechanism so that Indian coal prices were worked out on the
basis of market forces and on the basis of inter-national standards. There were even suggestions of
a regulator, which would determine Indian coal prices.
Now that international coal prices are down, the govern-ment doesnt want to link Indian coal
prices with inter-national prices, a WB Power Development Corp official said. With international
prices falling, coal imports have already increased. While Goyal has been saying that the country
was aiming at not importing a single tonne of thermal coal, it has imposed a zero duty on imported
coal. However, Goyal said, While not importing a single tonne of thermal coal is our larger aim, it
may be wise to import coal at the present point of time to keep cons-umers interest in mind.
Goyal, speaking at the energy conclave of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce, said India, as a
matter of policy, would not follow other countries at least in matters of pricing. He said since 70%
of the countrys coal require-ment was produced by the government-owned CIL and the
government more or less regulated the price, there was no need for a separate regulator in the
coal sector.
WB power minister Manish Gupta said that a regulator was necessary since CIL has a monopoly
over the commo-dity in India and it often drove prices keeping profitability in mind. Goyal said
profitability has to be resolved by efficiency and benefits should not come to CIL through pricing
only. He said CIL saw 10% growth this year and this continued even in the lame months. The
ministry was monitoring day-to-day coal and power output and the country at present had surplus
of both. But the mecha-nism for equitable distribution was still to be in place.
The Financial Express; August 29, 2015 (Edited)

Power producers allowed to

source fuel from CIL via e-auction
As pithead stocks pile up, coal major to sell 10 MT of fuel through this dedicated
Kolkata: With pithead stock piling up at CILs mines due to lack of demand from contracted power
sector buyers, the Centre has further relaxed norms for the power sector to source the domestic
fuel. By a notification issued on August 21, the Coal Ministry allowed CIL to open a dedicated
window for e-auction of fuel to the power sector. A total of 10 MT of coal, capable of generating
nearly 2,000 MW, will be sold through the window this fiscal.
Any generation utility - including those having a fuel supply pact (FSA) with the coal major and the
awardees of the recent auction of coal blocks - can buy the fuel through e-auction backed by sales
contracts of varying tenure to either discoms or traders or power exchanges.
CIL currently offers to supply up to 75% of the fuel required (annual contracted quantity) by a
utility to run the power station at 80% PLF for a 15-year period. This is for utilities commissioned
after March 2009. The FSA is given effect only against long-term PPA entered by the generation
company. And, since discoms are not showing much interest in entering into long-term PPAs, many
such plants are denied access to domestic coal.
Discoms are, however, showing interest in term buying to capitalise on low tariff opportunity in the
open market. With huge capacities idling due to lack of demand, many private producers are ready
to sell electricity at rates that merely recovers the fuel cost. However, non-availability of domestic
fuel is further squeezing their survival opportunity. The new coal e-auction window hopes to
address the demands of both these segments.
Gencos having long- and medium-term electricity sales contracts (beyond 1 year) are allotted half
of the total e-auction quantity, at a minimum of 20% premium (reserve price) over CILs notified
price. The rest will be offered to utilities having short-term contracts (less than 1 year) at a
minimum of 40% premium. The excess supply of electricity and projected growth in coal
production make it imperative to steadily relax norms for availing domestic fuel, said an analyst
with a multinational bank. He, however, warned that the success of the policy will rest on CILs
ability to push up production. Even if CIL reaches 850 MT production mark (in 5 years), there will
be sufficient fuel to meet domestic growth, he said.
Meanwhile, the auction will create an opportunity for CIL to boost profits that have been declining
due to increasing quantities of low-margin sales through FSAs to the power sector. A back-of-theenvelope calculation suggests 10 MT sales at an average premium of 30% over the average CIL
price of 1,295 a tonne (June 2015), will fetch the company an additional 300-crore revenue.
Profits would vary depending on the quality of fuel sold.
The Hindu Business Line; September 1, 2015 (Edited)

Coal block winners to get

state mining leases soon

New Delhi: State governments are set to grant mining leases for all coal blocks awarded during the
first phase of auctions in next 1 month, paving the way for pro-duction to start from these
operational mines, which have been lying unutilised in the absence of statutory clearances. The
move will be a big face-saver for the centre, grappling with clearances for the auctioned coal
blocks, though it was swift in conducting the auction and allotment of producing and nearproducing coal mines in February-March. These mines were scheduled to start production from
There is no problem as far as the centre is concerned, as prior environment and forest clearances
(EC/FC) were taken for all coal mines auctioned in the first phase.The transfer of coal mines to new
owners is getting delayed at the state level, but even that matter has been resolved with mining
lease of at least 14 coal mines to be cleared over the next 2 weeks, said a top official in the coal
ministry privy to the development.
The delay from states is on the grant of mining leases, clearing boundary of mines and mutation of
land, pollu-tion certificate and state-level forestry clearances.
Of the 24 producing coal blocks (schedule-II coal blocks) that were auctioned and allotted (to public
sector entities) in the first round, only about 6 are operational with a production capacity of 2.5 MT
of coal per annum or 25% of coal reserve in auctioned blocks. 2-3 blocks are expected to start
producing in couple of weeks time. Others are still awaiting all clear from state governments.
All the producing coal blocks were operational when a Supreme Court order in August 2014
cancelled all captive coal block allocations. Even after cancellation, the earlier owners of the
operational blocks were allowed to mine coal till March and pay 295 per tonne as penalty. The
delay is resulting is loss of production that could be used by power, steel and cement companies.
But mining com-panies are helpless, as new owners need to take about 19 clearances before any
productive activity can start, said an official of private sector power company that had bid for a
coal block in the recent round of auctions.
According to the timeline finalised by the coal ministry, winners of coal block auctions were to
secure all statu-tory permissions within 3 months of signing the vesting orders. These orders were
issued to all owners of pro-ducing mines in March. Subsequently, the block owners were required to
adhere to a mining plan that was to be finalised within 6 months of vesting orders. There are
cases of genuine delays over procedural issues. We would consider extending this deadline on a
case to case basis, said Vivek Bharadwaj, the nominated authority desig-nated by the coal
ministry for auctions.
Under the rules of auction, any delay in getting clearances on part of mine owners could result in
penalties and forfeiture of performance security submitted by winning bidders. The government is
focusing on getting clearan-ces for the 16 operational coal blocks, which have been auctioned so
far, before moving to others.
Among the mines that have started production is Parsa East & Kanta Basan (this block has been
allotted to Rajas-than Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam), Amelia North with Jaiprakash Power Ventures,
Belgaon block with Sunflag Iron and Steel, Talibara - I with GMR Chhattisgarh.
Under the first three rounds, the coal ministry has auctioned 32 blocks to private companies and
garnered over 2 lakh crore, surpassing CAGs loss estimate of 1.86 lakh crore in allotment of
mines earlier without auction. In addition, 38 coal blocks (both producing and near producing ones)
have been allotted to central and state-run utilities.
Financial Chronicle; August 30, 2015 (Edited)

Power-starved Karnataka
may get additional coal: Centre
Bengaluru: The Union Government will examine the possibility of ensuring additional coal supply to
Karnataka to ramp up power production from thermal units in the wake of severe shortage of
power, said Union Minister of State for Power, Coal, and Renewable Energy, Piyush Goyal. He said
hydel power generation in Karnataka had dropped to 40% as against 80% owing to poor rainfall.
The Union Government would also examine the possibility of diverting power from power-surplus
states to Karnataka, besides releasing additional quota of coal.
Power prices had come down by nearly 50% after the Modi Government came to power at the
Centre. States such as Karnataka could buy power from north India at a competitive price.
However, Karnataka had to improve its transmission corridors to buy power from states such as
Gujarat, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. Power, which was sold at 12-13 per unit, was now
available at 5 per unit. In the last one year, the Union Government added 22,500 circuit km, he
On the controversy over allotment of a single block in WBl to 7 states, including Karnataka, Goyal
said that it was not a good idea of asking 7 states to share one block. There had to be one block to
each state. The government would re-examine it and bring out alternative mechanism of allotting
independent blocks to each states. We are sorting out various operational issues which are critical
for transmission lines and transmission corridors. This will help make available sufficient power to

south India round-the-clock at cheaper rates. It will be achieved by 2019. Our plan is to add 6000
MW of power to south Indian grid during 2018-19, he added.
He said that he had spoken to the CM of Maharashtra to extend full co-operation to Karnataka,
which had been allotted a coal block in that State. Formalities were at final stages for calling for
operational tender mining. It would be done expeditiously to help Karnataka to get sufficient
quantity of coal for its thermal plants.
Deccan Chronicle; August 28, 2015 (Edited)

CIL misses Aug output target by 3.8%

Kolkata: CIL has produced 36.21 MT of coal in August, about 3.8% lower than its target of 37.65 MT
for the month. Consequently, the company's total coal produc-tion was 96.2% of targeted output in
August. In July, CIL had achieved 97% of output target at 34 MT. The miner had missed its June
target by about 2 MT, producing 38.83 MT of coal. Coal demand is expected to pick up in the
second-half of the year, analysts believe. Every year during monsoon, coal production usually
comes down because of rain.
According to a regulatory filing, CIL produced 192.37 MT of the dry fuel during April-August period.
This was 97.7% of the targeted output of 196.37 MT. Coal production grew by 9.4% during the 5month period this fiscal over the year-ago period. CIL, which accounts for over 80% of domestic
coal production, has been drawing flak for missing production targets. It had earlier said that ramping up output and improving profitability would be its top priorities.
CIL has admitted that the coal production target of 1 BT by 2019-20 is a challenge. The offtake
during August this year was 40.62 MT as against the targeted 40.50 MT. During April-August period,
coal offtake was 210.98 MT as compared to targeted 220.01 MT. CIL's coal offtake grew by 8.3% in
the period under review.
Financial Chronicle; September 1, 2015 (Edited)

Coal ministry seeks exemption

from forest clearances
If accepted, the move would potentially
cut delays in coal exploration
New Delhi: The ministry of coal has sought an exemption from forest clearances in prospecting for
coal to help boost production of the fuel. If accepted, the move, which is currently being considered
by the environment ministry, would potentially cut delays in coal exploration.
Some of the trial studies conducted jointly by the environment ministry and the Central Mine
Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI) have, however, shown that drilling operations for exploration
in some forest blocks affected movement of elephants and had an adverse impact on herbs and
medicinal plants. The findings may make it difficult for the environment ministry to give the coal
ministry general approval for such exploration.
The issue was discussed in a 10 July meeting of environ-ment minister Prakash Javadekar and coal
minister Piyush Goyal. In the meeting, it was decided that the environment ministrys forest
advisory committee (FAC), a statutory body for forest clearances, will consider the proposal. The
coal ministry has been seeking general approval for exploration of coal in forest areas for years
citing delays in approvals. The process has got a solid push under the NDA government,
according to a senior environment ministry official. It is primarily because the environment
ministry has given several general approvals for infrastructure projects in border areas citing
national interest. And the argument with coal is that it is also important for nations growth and
thus should be given general approval too, the official explained.
Drilling of boreholes is undertaken to assess coal reserves in a particular area because they then
form the basis of mining plans and formulation of project reports. It usually involves drilling of 1820 boreholes per 10 sq. km. The move, however, doesnt find support from environ-mentalists.
General approval, if given, would be a direct violation of the forest rights Act. It is going to result in
conflict with lot of other environmental laws too and going to a big disaster. It is also in conflict with
rights of tribal and other forest dwellers living in such forests, said Tushar Dash, an Odisha-based
environment resear-cher. Forests are already under huge pressure in the name of development.
While the coal ministrys contention is that the environment ministry should exempt it from seeking
forest clearance for prospecting minerals under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, the latter says
that as drilling may require felling of trees, it requires forest clearance. Construction of roads for
allowing trans-portation of drilling rigs to bore hole sites would require roads and thus needs to be
properly examined, the environment ministry official added. According to the coal ministry and
CMPDI, there are 70 pending proposals seeking approval under the Forest (Conservation) Act
before various state governments.
LiveMint; September 3, 2015 (Edited)

China passes new pollution law,


may set coal consumption limit

Legislators have approved amendments to Chinas 15-year-old air pollution law that grant the state
new powers to punish offenders and create a legal framework to cap coal consumption, the Asian
giants biggest source of smog. The draft amendments were passed by 154 votes to 4, with 5
abstentions, Zhong Xuequan, spokesman for the National Peoples Congress (NPC), Chinas
parliament, told a media briefing. The ruling Communist Party has acknowledged the damage that
decades of untrammeled economic growth have done to Chinas skies, rivers and soil. It is now
trying to equip its environmental inspection offices with greater powers and more resources to
tackle persistent polluters and the local governments that protect them.
The amendments are expected to make local govern-ments directly responsible for meeting
environmental targets. They also ban firms from temporarily switching off polluting equipment
during inspections and outlaw other behaviour designed to distort emission readings. Tong
Weidong, vice-director of the NPCs legal work committee, told the briefing the law would improve
the way local authorities were assessed and allow them to draw up their own plans to meet
environmental targets. Amendments to this air pollution law have strengthened pollution
treatment from the source - from sources such as industrial policy, energy consumption and
automobile pollution, Tong said.
However, researchers said the changes do not go far enough and that the third reading of the bill
should have been postponed until all its shortcomings had been resolved. Tong said such criticism
was very normal and that it was impossible to include all proposals in the law.
The Financial Express; August 30, 2015 (Edited)


Dabhol set for split but
fuel supply issues remain

New Delhi: The stage is set for a demerger of Ratnagiri Gas & Power (Dabhol) project into 2
entities, with GAIL dealing with the gas block and NTPC running the power plant, but the project is
unlikely to be without problems with fuel supply remaining a major concern. Railways is pitching to
buy electricity from the troubled plant.
Sources said that there is near unanimity on
demerger after a PMOappointed panel suggested a similar roadmap but
question marks remain over
the availability of gas with supply of only 0.9
mmscmd available so far
and the company has sought more domes-tic fuel in
the next round of auction. But
even with enhanced supply, it would only be able to
run half of 1 block and is
expected to generate around 330 MW. Dabhol has a
capacity of 1967 MW, split
into 3 blocks, but has been unable to run for want
of demand for power at the
price at which it can produce electricity. In the
absence of domestic gas
supply, the power plant has to run on imported LNG, which makes generation costs unviable at a
time when tariffs are low due to weak demand.
The project, which was set up by the now-defunct Enron, has been causing headache to the lenders
and the government for nearly 2 decades and has now reached a stage where banks have read the
riot act, prompting the Centre to act. In fact, the project was taken up for review at the level of the
PM's Office and a group was tasked with preparing a revamp plan.
But fuel supply is not the only issue. Evacuation of power is the other problem although Railways,
which is looking to trim its fuel bill, is the likely buyer. Railways has been asked to seek a
distribution company licence from the central power regulator to buy power. With a licence,
Railways can hope to buy power at around 4.70 a unit, including subsidy of over 1.50 a unit.
Otherwise, it would have to shell out at least 6.60 a unit. Sources said the panel has also
recommended that the Maharashtra government offer concessions to make the unit viable and in
return may be given a 2-year moratorium in clearing its dues to lenders, which are estimated at
around 2,000 crore.
The Times of India; August 28, 2015 (Edited)

Domestic gas: pressure building on govt to allow market price

With production falling and new discoveries yet to start flowing, the industry is worried
over low prices
New Delhi: The Centre is under pressure to allow dom-estic gas players to sell certain volumes of
their produce at market rates. If current estimates are any indication, the new gas price effective
October 1 could drop below $4 a unit. With domestic gas production declining conti-nuously and
new discoveries yet to start flowing, low prices will be a bad messenger as offshore discoveries
become unviable below $7 a unit, said an industry player.


The government is looking at the option of allowing a certain quantity of the produce to be sold at
market price. Varied views are under consideration on the quantum of quantity - whether it will be
25% or 50%, a senior official said. Currently, domestic gas is available at $4.7 a unit, the landed
cost of long-term contract (Qatar gas) is $12.5 a unit, and landed cost of gas bought from the spot
market is less than $8.5 a unit. The prices exclude local taxes and levies, marketing margins, and
transmission charges. The domestic industry has been maintaining that anything below $8 a unit is
not viable for any volume of deep-water discoveries. Even the shallow water produce is not viable
below $4 a unit, according to the industry. However, for deep-water discoveries, the government is
working on a special package. Every dollar change in gas price impacts the CNG, used as auto fuel
by about 3 a kg, piped natural gas price, used for cooking by around 2 per SCM, and the
electricity tariff by 45-50 paise a unit.
The Hindu Business Line; August 30, 2015 (Edited)

Oil minister clarifies on premium on gas price

Premium to be given only to developers of new blocks; ministry currently working on
premium to be offered
Mumbai: In a blow to the expectations of a gas price premium on existing deep-water fields of RIL
and ONGC, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan clarified that the premium will be given only to
developers of new blocks. The oil ministry is currently working on the extent of premium to be
offered to the companies and will be making an announcement in the next few weeks, he said.
As on today, the premium will only be given on blocks which are yet to be discovered. A decision
in this regard will be made shortly, said Pradhan.
LiveMint; August 28, 2015 (Edited)

Centre throws open the gas market, too

To auction 69 marginal fields of ONGC/OIL; operators to get marketing, pricing freedom
New Delhi: In what is being seen as a precursor to further freeing the oil and gas sector, the
government has decided to auction 69 marginal fields of ONGC and Oil India under a unified licence
regime with marketing and pricing freedom.
Resources worth 70,000 crore (89 MT of oil and gas reser-ves) are locked in these fields with
estimated annual production of 3,500 crore. The government aims to complete the
auctions in 3 months and the winners will be given a 20-year licence.
While the industry terms the Cabinet decision as better late than
never, as the proposal has been in the works for over 5 years,
experts say read the fine print. The government has not only allowed
exploration of all types of hydrocarbons - oil, gas, shale (oil and gas),
coal bed methane - under a revenue-sharing model, but also given
operators the freedom to sell the discovered gas at market price.
Currently, only crude is allowed to be sold at market price. With this,
the government has sent out a bigger mess-age: that it is opening up the gas market as well. If you
allow market price from these isolated and smaller fields, you may not have a valid reason to stop
contractors of larger fields from getting higher prices, a senior official said. After the Cabinet
meeting, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said the move to a
revenue sharing model (production-linked) is a paradigm shift from the prevailing production
sharing contract regime.
This is a step in the right direction to monetise hydro-carbon resources. Also, access to all forms of
hydrocar-bons and market pricing of gas are positive develop-ments. We now look forward to the
bid documents for greater clarity, said a Cairn India spokesperson.
The Hindu Business Line; September 3, 2015 (Edited)

Fresh drilling at KG-D6 shows positive results

Current production of 11 mmscmd is a far cry from the peak of over 69
New Delhi: RIL and its foreign partners BP and Niko Resources have registered positive results in
fresh drilling that started in May at the D1 and D3 fields in the KG-D6 block. According to sources,
the newly drilled well has shown gas production to the tune of 0.56 mmscmd. Currently, the
production at the KG-D6 block is hovering around a dismal 11 mmscmd, which includes around 4-5
mmscmd from MA (smaller) fields and remaining from D1 and D3 fields. Considering the good
results of what is called sidetrack drilling in D1-D3, the explorers are now planning to replicate
the same in MA fields of the same block, said an official privy to the development.
The Financial Express; September 1, 2015 (Edited)

ONGC, partners to invest $24 billion in Mozambique gas field


Government has passed a decree law, paving way for start of construction work on the
New Delhi: ONGC and its partners will invest about $24 billion in producing natural gas from a giant
field off Mozambique and converting it into LNG for export by ships to consumers like India. ONGC
Videsh Ltd, the overseas investment arm of the state-run explorer, holds 16% stake in Rovuma
Area 1 where recoverable resources in excess of 75 trillion cubic feet have been established. BPCL
holds another 10% and Oil India Ltd 4% stake in the field and all 3 together hold more stake than
operator Anadarko of the US (26.5%).
The Mozambique government has passed a decree law, paving way for start of construction work
on the project. An estimated $ 23-24 billion will be required to bring first set of discoveries in
Rovuma Area-1 on to production and convert that gas into LNG, a senior official in the consor-tium
said. The partners have so far committed $16 billion and hope to achieve financial closure of the
remaining by December or early January, he said. They are planning to produce first gas from Q1 of
2020. The gas will be turned into LNG at an onshore liquefication plant and exported in cryogenic
ships to consumption centres like India.
Initial plan of development of Area-1 envisage developing two LNG trains of about 6 million tonnes
per annum each from the Golfinho-Atum Field in Area-1. The decree law essentially means that
the cost of bringing the gas field to production as well as building of liquefaction (LNG) plant will be
cost recoverable i.e. all investments will be recouped from sale of gas first before profits are shared
with Mozambique government, he said.
The project will have an ultimate capacity to produce 20 million tonnes of LNG annually and will be
the worlds largest LNG export site after ExxonMobil-run Ras Laffan in Qatar. Rovuma Area-1
Offshore Mozambique Block (Block Area 1) is located along the coasts of northern Mozambique and
southern Tanzania in the Indian Ocean.
It has a total area of more than 10,000 square kms in water depths ranging from 900-1,600 metres
and about 30-60 kms from shore. Texas-based Anadarko is the operator with 26.5% stake while
other partners include Mitsui (20%), ENH (15%) and PTTEP (8.5%).
So far, seven gas fields have been discovered in the block. Of these, 3 fields - Lagosta,
Windjammer and Barquentine (collectively called the Prosperidade field) - extend into the adjacent
Block Area-4 where Italys ENI with a 70% stake is the operator. The others -- Atum, Golfinho and a
small field Tubarao - are independent fields lying fully in Block Area-1. The official said the
consortium is looking at developing the independent fields first.
LiveMint; August 28, 2015 (Edited)

OVL says Mozabique LNG not viable

at under $9-10 per mmBtu
Partners have signed pacts for selling 8.5 mtpa of gas from terminal, but talks on price
point are still on
Mumbai: The natural gas sold from the yet-to-be-built LNG terminal at Mozambique will not be
viable at a price below $9-10 per mmBtu, said N.K. Verma, managing director, ONGC Videsh Ltd
(OVL). Indian companies, along with OVL, hold a 30% stake in the Offshore Area 1, Rovuma Basin in
Mozambique. The project, which has natural gas reserves of 75 trillion cu. ft (tcf), also includes a 10
million tonnes per annum (mtpa) LNG terminal expected to be ready by 2019. Verma said the
partners have already signed agreements for selling 8.5 mtpa of gas from the terminal, but
negotiations on the price point are still on.Its a commercial decision to be taken by the
consortium. Our participation focus is on 2 parts. One is upstream for gas production and other is
gas supply. If the gas is sold at a higher price, all upstream companies will benefit. So, we are also
there, we will benefit. But if the gas is being sold at a price cheaper than global market price, then
we will ask them to give the remaining gas to us, said Verma.
In the face of falling crude oil price, the price of spot LNG too has come down to $7.5 per mmBtu
from around $12 per mmBtu a year ago, forcing several natural gas buyers to either postpone their
purchases under contracts signed at higher prices or negotiate a reduction in price.
While he did not say at what price the negotiations with interested buyers for Mozambique LNG are
on, but said anything below $9-10 per mmBtu is not a viable price. As a consortium the effort will
be to maximize value. 8.5 mtpa that has already been tied up, he said.
LiveMint; August 29, 2015 (Edited)


TN wants Kudankulam power
by mid-September


Chennai: With the wind power season coming to an end, Tangedco has asked Nuclear Power
Corporation of India Ltd to resume generation in the first 1000 MW reactor of Kudankulam Nuclear
Power Project (KKNPP) by mid-September. The unit has been shut down since June 24 for annual
overhauling. The nuclear reactor, which supplies 563 MW to TN was taken out of service for
carrying out annual maintenance on June 24 for 60 days. As per schedule, the unit was supposed to
come back to service on August 23 itself. But the 1000 MW reactor is expected to come into the
service only in the end of September with a delay of over 30 days.
In a letter to NPCIL, Tangedco stated that generally in the month of September wind generation
drops from peak generation. In order to maintain load generation balance during the month, it has
requested that steps should be taken to bring back unit I into generation on September 15 after
completion of overhaul.
The state receives over 20% of its daily energy require-ment from windmills between June and
September. On August 11, windmills supplied 4,144 MW out of 12,994 MW peak demand, the
highest this year. Stating that the state was unlikely to face a power deficit, a senior Tangedco
official said, It is always better to have firm power supply. The wind generation will start dropping
after the second week of September usually. The generation from KKNPP will help bridge the gap.
However, KKNPP site director R.S. Sundar said that the nuclear reactor would resume service only
by the end of September. He said that the first time they have taken the unit for annual
maintenance after the reactors began commercial operation on December 31, 2014. Several
works are underway including replacement of spent fuel from the reactors. It is not possible to
commence genera-tion by September 15. We are targeting end of September only, he said.
Deccan Chronicle; August 31, 2015 (Edited)

Japan nuclear power outlook bleak

despite first reactor restart
The number of Japanese nuclear reactors likely to restart in the next few years has halved, hit by
legal challenges and worries about meeting tougher safety standards imposed in the wake of the
Fukushima disaster. The country has been inching back to nuclear energy, turning on its first
reactor in mid-August after a 2-year blackout, with PM Shinzo Abe and many in industry looking to
cut fuel bills despite widespread public opposition to atomic power. But the analysis shows that of
the other 42 operable reactors remaining in the country, just 7 are likely to be turned on in the next
few years, down from the 14 predicted in a similar survey last year.
The findings are based on reactor inspection data from industry watchdog the Nuclear Regulation
Authority, court rulings and interviews with local authorities, utilities and energy experts. They also
show that 9 reactors are unlikely to ever restart and that the fate of the remaining 26 looks
Four-and-a-half years after the events started unfolding at Fukushima Daiichi, the Japanese
government, the nuclear utilities and the NRA have not succeeded in overcoming complete
planning insecurity for investors. The outlook for restarts is as cloudy as ever, said Mycle
Schneider, an independent energy consultant in Paris. Japans utilities have been burning LNG in
record quantities to make up for lost nuclear capacity, bolstering international markets for the fuel.
Legal woes
Legal challenges from local residents have hit all atomic plants, with the countrys most nuclearreliant utility Kansai Electric Power issued with court rulings preventing the restart of four reactors
despite two of them already receiving NRA approval to switch on. Kansai has appealed the
judgements but court cases may take years to resolve if the rulings are not overturned on the first
appeal. Tougher safety standards and stricter implementation of rules since Fukushima have also
been hitting restarts. Japan Atomic Power has been battling a regulatory ruling that one of its
reactors sits above an active fault, meaning it must be decommissioned.
And highlighting the pitfalls of rebooting the industry, Kyushu Electric was forced to slow the ramp
up of power from its Sendai No. 1 reactor after it restarted around mid-August due to problems with
pumping equipment. Engineers warn that firing up reactors that have been offline for prolonged
periods could be fraught with such troubles. But offering some hope to nuclear operators, some
aging units may be given a new lease of life as the NRA considers applications for operation
beyond the standard 40 years. Two Kansai units, both around 40 years old, are being vetted for
extensions. The regulator has said it would be very strict on granting permission, but Kansai is
pushing for acceptance of less costly measu-res on fireproofing thousands of kilometres of wiring.
The Financial Express; September 1, 2015 (Edited)

JSW Energy in talks to recast
6,000 crore debt under 5/25 scheme


Will refinance debt component of the 9,700 cr trans-action to buy 2 hydro assets from
Jaiprakash Power
Mumbai: JSW Energy Ltd is in talks with banks to refinance debt worth 6,000 crore under the socalled 5/25 refinance scheme for long-gestation infra-structure projects, according to 2 bankers
directly invol-ved in the talks. JSW Energy will refinance the debt component of the 9,700 crore
transaction to buy 2 hydropower assets from Jaiprakash Power Ventures Ltd. Bankers are meeting
in the first week of September to finalize a 5/25 refinancing for these 2 hydroelectric power
projects, with a clause that the new management comes in within a stipulated period of time, said
the executive director of a large state-run bank. There is a refinancing being done with a change
in management clause, said a second banker.
Banks will clear the request because of JSW Energys creditworthiness, the first banker said. As of
now, ban-kers representing majority of the 6,000 crore debt have agreed to enter this
agreement. A formal approval is still pending. JSW Energy, which had a consolidated debt of
8,210.57 crore as on 31 March, is one of the few power companies in India that have a relatively
healthy balance sheet, allowing it to raise funds from banks easily to pursue its plan to buy
distressed assets. Many power producers in India, struggling with huge debt, are trying to sell some
of their assets.
JSW Energy agreed to buy the Baspa Stage II (300 MW) and Karcham Wangtoo (1,091 MW)
hydropower projects, both in HP, in November. As part of the deal, the 2 hydropower assets were to
be transferred to a SPV named Himachal Baspa Power Co. Ltd, followed by JSW Energy picking a
100% stake in the SPV. The assets have been transferred to JSW Energys books, said a third
public sector investment banker directly involved in JSWs purchase of the 2 hydropower assets
from the Jaypee Group. The executive director confirmed comple-tion of the transfer.
However, a spokesperson for Jaiprakash Power Ventures said: The sale of the two Jaiprakash Power
Ventures hydro units - Karcham Wangtoo and Baspa - is in advanced stage of completion, major
approvals including that of Honble High Court are in place and it is expected that the transaction
will close shortly. The 5/25 refinan-cing is under consideration for our Nigrie Super Thermal Power
Project. Jaiprakash Power operates a 1,320MW thermal power plant at Nigrie, MP.
The 5/25 scheme has found many takers from the power sector including the Jaypee Group, Adani
Power Ltd and GMR Infrasructure Ltd. I would not be surprised if the company convinced bankers
for a refinance by giving an alternative option of repaying the entire debt off. Banks dislike a
prepayment from creditworthy clients, said a banker with a private investment bank.
Vibha Batra, senior vice-president at Icra, does not see an issue with JSW Energys refinancing
request. As far as the cash flows of a project match the serviceable debt, there should be no
problem with approving a 5/25 refinancing, since the project would be viable, Batra said.
However, this viability differs significantly from project to project and so, this decision needs to be
taken very carefully. The RBI, in its annual report, said it will periodically examine randomly
selected 5/25 deals to ensure they are facilitating genuine adjustment rather than becoming a
backdoor means of postponing principal payments indefinitely.
LiveMint; August 31, 2015 (Edited)

Relief for PE funds as state may buy back assets from Asian Genco
Sikkim govt is looking to buy back Teesta Power assets from infra firm as it failed to
develop proposed projects
Mumbai: In what could be one of the largest asset-buybacks by a state, the Sikkim government
may buy back assets from infrastructure firm Asian Genco as it failed to develop the proposed
projects in the north-eastern state. The state government's decision might bring relief to big ticket
global private equity players, which have nearly written off a $425 million investment in Asian
Genco, which owns several power assets. As part of the proposed arrangement, Asian Genco,
which owns the 1200 MW partly completed Teesta hydro power project in Sikkim, will hand over the
asset to the state government for 600 crore, according to several people familiar with the
There is a consensus among private equity funds and they are more or less fine with this
arrangement. A final decision is expected soon, said one of the persons. The funds are recovering
some of the money, which they have nearly written off. The transaction would be under state
sovereign rights as the firm failed to meet project obli-gations, paving the way for larger cost
escalations, making it almost unviable. An earthquake in Sikkim had further spoilt the plot,
damaging major equipment and delaying construction, said another person.
The Sikkim government holds 26% in the SPV for the project, Teesta Urja, in which Asian Genco
holds a majority. The investment will end with the government owning 51% while the PE investors'
stake will reduce. Apart from Teesta, the company has 2 hydro power assets in Arunachal Pradesh
and HP, a gas-based and thermal project in AP and a wind farm in Gujarat.
Big-ticket investors such as funds managed by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, General Atlantic,
Everstone Capi-tal and Norwest Partners have together invested $425 million in the firm in 2010.


Since then, differences have cropped up between the funds and the company promoters. Investors
had initiated arbitration procee-dings against Asian Genco, and its chief promoter Vijay-kumar TV,
for management control and to recover their funds. As of now, investors hold majority in the
company, with no voting rights, sources said. In turn, Vijaykumar had filed a complaint in a
Hyderabad court arguing that PE funds were trying to take away all the money from his company.
There was a warrant against directors of all the big buyout funds to be present for questioning,
according to various media reports.
Indian asset owners' lack of urgency to cut debt will continue to restrict their ability to capture
growth, HSBC said in a note about India's infrastructure and power sector. Who blinks first is not
important; investors lose. Indian asset owners have shown limited willingness to cut debt by selling
off assets. Their stubbornness to hold assets in anticipation of better valuation despite a weak
operating outlook suggests near term earnings and valuation will remain under pressure, HSBC
said. We argue that investors during the current cycle are unlikely to be forthcoming in funding
overleveraged asset owners, it added.
The Economic Times; August 31, 2015 (Edited)

`Lahaul Spiti down with power woes'

Shimla: The tribal Lahaul Spiti district of HP might be the next big hub for hydro power generation
with identified potential of 2,300 MW and slew of major projects already in the pipeline, but the
local population of the snow-bound district has been left with no power as 2 existing projects at
Thirot and Rongtong are reportedly lying defunct. Not happy with the attitude of the state electricity board, local MLA Ravi Thakur has demanded to hand over these projects to private
companies to ensure sufficient power supply especially during winters.
The state government has already allotted 37 hydro power projects in the district of which 9
projects are of the 100-420 MW, while 2 small projects Thirot (4.5 MW) and Rongtong (2 MW) are
almost lying defunct in want of proper maintenance. While Thakur has raised question on poor
maintenance of 2 projects causing problem for 521 villages of the district, the power minister in a
written reply informed the state assembly that though 2 turbines are not in working condition, the
third turbine of Thirot project is generating sufficient power as per availability of water. Fact is that
the situation in Lahaul Spiti worsens during winters when people have to depend on power supplied
from Kinnaur and Kullu. Heavy snowfall snaps the transmission lines. Thirot and Rongtong projects
rem-ain defunct due to extreme cold conditions, he added.
The issue of non-functional turbines of Thirot power house was raised in the state assembly during
the monsoon session. In a written reply to a question from Congress MLA Ravi Thakur, power
minister Sujan Singh Pathania said it is correct that 2 turbines of the power house are not in
working condition. In order to make both the machines functional, Himachal Pradesh State
Electricity Board had placed orders in July for procure-ment of 2 sets of cooper bearings from the
UK and for other associated equipment amounting to 16 lakh, Pathania added.
The Times of India; September 2, 2015 (Edited)

Poor upkeep of Shanan project raises concern

Shimla: The state governments efforts to take over the Shanan Power Project (110 MW) in
Jogindernagar have failed to yield good results. The projects 99 years lease is nearing expiry and
the clamour for its possession is growing louder. During the reorganisation of Punjab in November
1966, the project was given to Punjab on a 99-year lease as per the agreement between Raja
Joginder Sen of the erstwhile princely state of Mandi and Col BC Batty, representative of the British
government, on March 3, 1925.
PSEB was entrusted with maintenance of the project, the first of its kind in North India that supplied
power to undivided Punjab and Delhi. But it failed to maintain the project, said former BJP minister
and MLA from Joginder-nagar, Gulab Singh. He alleged that PSEB had stopped all investments and
if this continued for long, the project would be in ruins by the time it would be handed over to
Himachal in March 2024.
As the Punjab Government is aware that the lease will expire in 2024, it is neglecting the
maintenance of the project and as such the project should be handed over to Himachal
immediately, said Gulab Singh. Gulab Singh urged CM Virbhadra Singh, former CM PK Dhumal and
MP to take up the matter with Power Minister Piyush Goel and Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal for
saving the project. If the issue cant be discussed, a joint vehicle should be put in place for the
maintenance of the 82-year project commissioned on March 10, 1933, he said. A resolution was
moved in the Assembly in 1981 to hand over the project to Himachal. The project was wrongly
allotted to Punjab in May 1967. It should have been under the control of the state but the
successive governments at the Centre ignored the claim of Himachal.
The Tribune; September 2, 2015 (Edited)

Meenvallam power project's


revenue touches 3.24-cr

Palakkad: The revenue from the 3 MW Meenvallam mini-hydel project, set up in Karimba panchayat
by Palakkad district panchayat has touched 3.24 crore. The project was first in the country to be
implemented by a local body. Power was sold at 4.88 per unit to KSEB. The project, commissioned
in June 2014, has so far produced 66.34 lakh units. The Meenvallam mini-hydel scheme was
implemented by the Palakkad Small Hydro Co, on January 20,1999 at an outlay of 22 crore.
The success of the Meenvallam project has prompted the State Government to entrust 2 more
mini-hydel projects to the local body - the 4.5 MW Koodam project in Agali and 6.5 MW project in
Kottopadam. He said that panchayat will soon prepare a detailed project report (DPR) and will
submit it to the Government.
The district panchayat, apart from the above 2 projects, has identified the Chindillam waterfalls in
Palakuzhi of Kizhakkencherry panchayat to tap power, which would be able to generate 1 MW. Chief
Engineer E C Padmarajan said that a sum of 4 crore has been allotted from the plan fund of the
district panchayat and 3.8 MU of power was expected to be generated. The DPR for the same was
prepared in 1993 and was updated recently. It is expected to cost 11 crore and the panchayat is
in the final stages of purchasing seven acres of private land and already received sanction for
occupying 0.3 hectares of forest land in return for compensatory afforestation. The land already
received NOC from the Forest department.
Padmarajan said the Energy Management Centre (EMC) was entrusted with finding contractors for
63 mini-hydel schemes in the state. But there were no takers for the Koodam project in Agali,
Attappadi and the Chembukatty project in Kottopadam. The Palakkad district panchayat then
approached the EMC. A sum of 15 lakh has to be deposited for each MW and the authorities
approached Minister for Power Aryadan Mohammed for remitting the amount in 20 equal
instalments and to be paid on quarterly-basis.
The New Indian Express; September 1, 2015 (Edited)

Diversion of river causes

Deopani Micro-Hydel to shut down
Roing: The Deopani Micro-Hydel Phase I&II of Roing township has stopped working since Aug 23
last due to diversion of Eze river water at the weir/diversion point triggered by heavy rainfall. AE
Hydropowers AL Yadav informed that major accumulation of sand and stones have been found in
the weir point besides siltation of power channel with sand and coarse gravel in the micro-hydel
which has a capacity of producing 750 KW (250 KW x 3). He also informed that the power channel
is in danger of collapsing at another point due to landslide under-neath the channel caused by
erosion of river water. Informing that departmental labourers have been enga-ged to clear siltation
in the power channel, efforts are also being made to restore the power channel. Yadav, however
said that restoration work may take time.
The Arunachal Times; August 28, 2015 (Edited)

Diferences crop up within expert panel

Guwahati: Serious differences of opinion have cropped up within the 8-member Project Oversight
Committee (POC), constituted by the Union Power Ministry in January this year, to study the
controversial 2000 MW Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project (LSHEP). Following the
differences, the group of Assam experts and experts from other parts of the country in the POC
submitted their interim reports on the project separately to the Union Power Ministry about a
month back.
Experts from the State include Prof Jatin Kalita and Prof Bhagawat Pran Duarah of Gauhati
University, Prof Chandan Mahanta of IIT Guwahati and Prof SP Biswas of Dibrugarh University. On
the other hand, experts from the other parts of the country include Prof ML Sarma from IIT Roorkee,
Dr VK Sarma of GSI, SK Sibal from CWC and Manoj Tripathi from CEA.
Significantly, the States experts had studied LSHEP earlier, following a decision of a tripartite
meeting of the State Government, NHPC and the All Assam Students Union. In its report submitted
to the authorities on June28, 2010, it made some important observations on the dam safety-related
issues. This intensified the existing mass revolt against LSHEP and led to an impasse over
construction of the project compelling the Central Government to finally constitute the POC in
January this year with the mandate that it would submit its report within 3 months.
Prof Jatin Kalita, who had earlier led the States expert group, said that they had submitted the
interim report about a month back expressing concern, mainly over dam safety issue and
requesting the Power Ministry to review seismic safety parameters by engaging seismic experts
from the country as well as from abroad, who have significant contributions towards the study of
Himalayan seismology. However, the Assam experts abstained from the seventh meeting of the
POC due to non-imple-mentation of the decision of the Committees sixth meeting held on July 6
and 7 last.


The Assam experts are going to submit their final report within the current month, urging the Union
Government not to proceed with LSHEP until the safety of its dam is convincingly ensured, said Prof
Kalita. Prof BP Duarah said that the 2 major issues on which the States Expert Group and the other
experts had differed, included - whether the seismic design parameter used for ensuring dam
safety was adequate and what would be the res-ponse of dam abutments in the event of an
earthquake of the intensity considered for dam construction.
In its sixth meeting, the POC worked out a list of seismic experts from India and abroad for
consultation, basing on the terms of reference (ToR) of the POC. On July 20, 2015, the Power
Ministry told the POC that as per clause 3 of the POC ToR, the committee may consult any eminent
expert - individual or organisation - of national/inter-national repute. However, it maintained that
the Commi-ttee may consider engaging any Indian expert indi-viduals/organisations with
national/international repute as per the ToR, considering international sensitivity of the issue. The
Assam experts stuck to the decision of the sixth meeting, said Prof Duarah.
The Assam Tribune; August 28, 2015 (Edited)

GMR plans to export power

from Nepal plant to Bangladesh
Hyderabad: GMR Group, which is setting up 2 hydel power projects in Nepal, is in discussions with
Bangladesh government among others to export power from the Himalayan country. Initial
discussions were initiated for tying up sale of power with Government of Bangladesh, PTC/NTPC/
Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Limited (NVVN), GMR said in
its annual report. It added that IFC, a World Bank
arm, is expected to pick up 10% stake in both the
projects, besides acting as lead lender. The
company is in the process of setting up 600 MW
Upper Marsyangdi-2 Hydroelectric Power Project on
river Marsyangdi in Lamjung and Manang districts
and 900 MW Upper Karnali Hydroelectric project
located on river Karnali in Dailekh, Surkhet and
Achham districts of Nepal.
Joint Development Agreement (JDA) was executed
with IFC for the transmission line project on December 22, 2014 and another JDA with IFC is already
in place for Upper Marsyangdi-2 project, it said. IFC proposes to invest in the project as a codeveloper with 10% equity under Infra Ventures route and also act as lead lender and lead
arranger for it. It is exploring for Chinese finan-cing and various discussions were held with Chinese
banks and EPC contractors in China, GMR said.
With regard to GMR Upper Karnali Hydro Power Public Limited (GUKPL) (900 MW), it said Project
Development Agreement (PDA) negotiations were completed and executed on September 19, 2014
for generation and transmission line projects with Nepal government. Post execution of PDA, the
project land has been identified and joint verification for government and forest land and cadastral
mapping among others are under progress, it said. Upper Karnali is in the process of rerouting the
transmission line as per the directions of Ministry of Energy, Government of Nepal, the annual
report said.
The Hindu Business Line; August 30, 2015 (Edited)

15% of Indias power by 2030 to be green,
says NITI Aayog

Renewable energy contributes 6%

of the countrys energy mix
New Delhi: The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog has told the environment
ministry that renewable sources can make up at least 15% of Indias energy mix by 2030 if present
policies are given a push. This analysis was done as part of the governments strategy to
enumerate Indias climate action plan to be submitted to UN. The action plan, called Intended
Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), is awaiting Cabinet approval and is expected to be
made in the first week of September. Environment minister Prakash Java-dekar had said that Indias
submission to the UN will be the most exhaustive, covering all crucial climate change areas mitigation, adaption, finance, technology. As energy is the most important component of the
INDCs, the NITI Aayog has conducted a detailed analysis of the futuristic energy needs depending
on different scenarios.
We have presented various scenarios and told the environment ministry that by 2030, Indias
energy mix can have 15% renewable share easily, a senior NITI Aayog official told HT. The analysis


shows it would be a big leap for India as renewable energy currently contributes to less than 6% of
the countrys energy mix. PM Narendra Modi has announced setting up a green power capacity of
175 GW by 2022 to ensure every household gets adequate power.
Indias power demand by 2030 is expected to be about 10 lakh MW. According to the panel, the
biggest contr-ibutors to enhanced green power will be solar and wind energy, contributing about
70% to total power genera-tion by renewable, followed by nuclear energy. India plans to generate
20,000 MW of power from nuclear energy by 2030, when renewable is expected to contri-bute
2,00,000 MW of energy.
The Hindustan Times; August 31, 2015 (Edited)

Solar power installed capacity

crosses 4 GW-milestone
Against a target of 1,400 MW for FY16, achievement in first 4 months was 358 MW
Chennai: Grid-connected solar power installed capacity has crossed the 4 GW-mark, according to
data released by MNRE. Against a target of 1,400 MW for 2015-16, the achievement in the first four
months of the financial year was 358 MW, or 25%. On the basis of projects awarded in the recent
months, solar industry experts are confident that installations in the current year will exceed 2,500
MW. This contrasts favourably with the 1,112 MW installed in 2014-15 and 948 MW in the previous
year. Solar capacity reaching the 4 GW milestone is said to be creditable considering that as
recently as in 2010, India had only 12 MW of solar capacity.
MNRE has set a target of 100 GW of solar capacity to be achieved by 2022. An ambitious target,
and the big question is whether it would be met. A Citi group report, titled Energy Darwinism II, has
projected that Indias solar installations in 2020 would be 26,523 MW - a respectable number, but
way below the target. Such installed capacity would make India the fourth largest solar market,
after China (148,141 MW), Japan (64,863 MW) and the US (64,133 MW).
Wind installations in the first 4 months of the current financial year were 412 MW, according to
MNRE data. Experts feel that, due to a variety of factors, the target of 2,400 MW for the full year is
not likely to be met. The Citi report forecasts Indias wind capacity at 38,690 MW by 2020. The
governments target for 2022 is 60,000 MW.
The Hindu Business Line; September 2, 2015 (Edited)

Proposed policy to push solar UMSPPs

of 3,000 MW & above
New Delhi: The Department of Industrial Policy and Pro-motion (DIPP) has proposed a policy replete
with incen-tives for ultra mega solar power projects (UMSPPs) of 3,000 MW and above. According to
official sources, the sops could include capital and interest subsidies, greater incentives for R&D,
and excise and customs duty relief for capital equipment. The idea is to help the development of
local industry for manufacture of solar modules/cells so that large solar projects can source inputs
from it at competitive prices. The government would also endea-vour to make the required land
available to solar developers at fair prices.
An UMSPP, under the current policy (Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission or JNNSM), is defined
as a single power project with capacity of 500 MW or more. The feasibility of DIPPs proposal is
now being considered by an inter-ministerial committee comprising DIPP and the ministries of new
& renewable energy, power and finance, the sources added. Since the banking sector is not wellequipped to handle such large projects (as they are already saddled with huge bad loans and huge
exposure to infrastructure projects), discussions will soon be held to see how India can attract FDI
and other sources of finance into its solar cell/module manufacturing. Up to 100% FDI via the
automatic route is currently allowed in the renewable energy sector.
Currently, the costs of Indian solar modules are 25-30% higher than the imported ones.
Technology, quality and delivery skills too are inferior to foreign competitors. Lack of demand, in
turn, is preventing local companies from setting/scaling up plants in India to manufacture solar
modules/cells. It is reckoned that pants with capacity of 3,000 MW would create the demand
required for a local equipment manufacturing industry to flourish.
Over 70% of the countrys solar projects are currently set up on imported cells/modules. Solar
panel imports (in volume) from China accounted for 63% of the 3.02 crore imported panels in AprilMay FY16, 70% of the 16.15 crore imported panels in FY15 and 65% of the 15.41 crore imported
panels in FY14. Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, the US, Germany, Italy and Japan are also among
other big exporters of solar panels to India. The Union cabinet had in June cleared a proposal to
ensure an increase in the countrys solar power capacity target to 1 lakh MW by 2022. The move
will need investments worth 6 lakh crore. Therefore, there is a need for a comprehensive policy
for UMSPPs of 3,000 MW and above, the DIPP said, adding that such huge projects can also help in
bringing down the solar power cost significantly.


However, issues including whether or not a significant number of home-grown companies have the
experience, technical expertise, technology and financial resources to win bids for such huge
projects will also have to be looked into, it said.
The Financial Express; August 31, 2015 (Edited)

Renewable Energy Policy likely to come up

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government has decided to generate 2,850 MW of renewable energy in next
7 years. The Government is now working to adopt a new Odisha Renewable Energy Policy 2015-22
to propel growth of various renewable energy generations in a big way, sources said. The proposed
Renewable Energy Policy would provide incentives to the promoters in form of State subsidy and
low interest loans for setting up renewable energy units. Out of 2,850 MW of renewable energy,
2,150 MW would be of solar energy, 350 MW of wind energy, 150 MW of small hydropower, and
180 MW would be generated from biomass and 20 MW from municipal waste.
Earlier, the State Government was mulling for a new Solar Energy Policy but has now decided to
change it to Renewable Energy Policy in order to place a comprehensive policy on green energy,
officials said.
Recently, a 30 MW solar plant promoted by the ACME Solar has been charged to the Grid. Another
20-MW plant is coming up in Boudh district and more solar plants would come up with the new
policy support, said officials.
The Pioneer; September 3, 2015 (Edited)

Rise in solar cell production

to bring 30K-cr investments
New Delhi: The increase in manufacturing facility for solar cells and modules will bring in an
investment of about 30,000 crore and create 25,000 jobs in the country. It is expected that the
manufacturing capacity for cells and modules will increase roughly by 2,500 MW and 5,000 MW per
annum, respectively, said an official in the new and renewable energy ministry.
At present, manufacturing capacity of cells and modules in India is 1,386 MW and 2,756 MW,
respectively. Besides modules, solar power plants require inverters, cables, support structures,
transformers and switch gears. The official said the target announced by India has generated a lot
of interest amongst the manufacturers and several large companies from countries like the US,
China, Japan, Germany, Canada etc.
The Economic Times; August 31, 2015 (Edited)

Govt seeks SoftBank push for

PM Narendra Modis solar goal
PM Narendra Modi government has closed bids for a third of its target of tendering 15,000 MW of
solar projects this fiscal year, an official said, and is expecting interest from investors such as
SoftBank to lift the industry. The tenders are part of PM Narendra Modis ambitious plans to raise
solar capacity fivefold to 100,000 MW by 2022 to meet Indias growing power needs, create jobs
and fight climate change without committing to an emission target.
We are creating the base for big companies like SoftBank and Foxconn to participate, Upendra
Tripathy, new and renewable energy secretary, said, adding, We want big players to come in,
costs to come down and targets to be met. Japans SoftBank this month announced plans to set
up a company to invest $20 billion in Indias renew-able energy industry, with Taiwanese iPhone
maker Foxconn and Indias Bharti Enterprise as minority partners. SoftBanks executives have met
both Modi and Tripathy.
Indian resources conglomerate Adani Group has all but ended a deal with US company SunEdison
for a solar equipment plant, only to start talks with Softbank and Foxconn for investments, sources
said. So far this fiscal year India has closed tenders for about 5,000 MW of solar power and is
seeking bids for 5,000 MW more, Tripathy said. Government-controlled companies Solar Energy
Corp of India and NTPC Ltd have issued most of the tenders, along with states such as MP in central
India. SkyPower, Acme Solar, Suzlon Energy and SunEdison have been among the winners. Tripathy
said though companies were keen to invest and solar power was already competing with fossil-fuel
derived electricity, federal and state governments would have to make it easier for businesses to
buy land.
The Financial Express; August 31, 2015 (Edited)

Global green energy firms eyeing India entry

India needs $250 billion to meet its target of installing 100 GW of solar and 60,000 MW
of wind power by 2022


New Delhi: Global green energy firms seems to be making a beeline to take bets on Indias
renewable energy story as companies including New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)-listed NRG
Energy Inc. and Canadas TransAlta are planning an India entry. While NRG has an installed
capacity of 50,000 MW, TransAlta is Canadas largest publicly traded power generator and
marketer of electricity and renewable energy. India needs as much as $250 billion to meet its
target of installing 100 GW of solar power and 60,000 MW of wind power by 2022.
These firms are actively scouting for an opportunity to invest in India, given the scales involved
here and also the rate of return. These firms have big plans. A case in point being NRG, which has
one of the largest global renewable energy platforms, said a person aware of the firms plan.
A senior government official, said many firms are scouting for investments in green energy
development and manufacturing space.
Speaking at Mints fourth annual energy conclave Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary, MNRE, said most
renewable energy companies are scouting for opportunities to set up base in India. There has been
growing interest from overseas investors in the Indian renewable energy space. Russias OAO
Rosneft, the worlds largest publicly traded oil company, US-based First Solar and Chinas Trina
Solar are among the firms looking for opportunities to participate in Indias solar energy sector. In
June, SoftBank, along with Bharti Enterprises Ltd and Taiwans Foxconn Technology, proposed to
invest at least $20 billion in solar energy projects in India through a joint venture, SB Cleantech Ltd.
Also, a number of utilities and private equity (PE) firms are trying to get a slice of Indias growing
green energy pie. These include NYSE-listed Brookfield Asset Mana-gement, Switzerland-based PE
firm Partners Group AG, infrastructure investment manager I Squared Capital, Dubais PE firm
Abraaj Group and Doha-based Nebras Power QSC. A subsidiary of Singapore-based Sembcorp
Industries Ltd acquired a 60% stake in IDFC Alternatives-backed renewable energy firm Green Infra
Ltd for S$227 million in February. In the same month, Actis Capital committed $230 million to
create an Indian renewable energy platform called Ostro Energy Pvt. Ltd. SunEdison recently
agreed to acquire Continuum Wind Energy Ltd.
Renewable energy currently accounts for only 13%, or 35,777MW, of total installed capacity of
2,74,818 MW.
LiveMint; September 3, 2015 (Edited)

Punjab attracts 3,500-cr

investments for solar projects


Chandigarh: Punjab Government said it has received bids from as many as 18 companies for
setting up solar projects in the state which will attract investment of .3,500 crore. Companies like
Sun Edison, First Solar and Sky Power from US, Solar Pack Corporation Spain, Emami Power, Sun
Pharma, Acme, Hero Group, Welspun, Azure Power participated in the bidding process, Punjab New
and Renewable Energy Minister Bikram Singh Majithia said in a release issued here.
The state received bids with cumulative capacity of 1,650 MW as against offered capacity of 500
MW. He said the allocation process will be completed by the end of next month. Majithia said the
"overwhelming" response from international solar power players had once again confirmed that the
State's renewable energy policy is the best in the country. "It is to the credit of Punjab that it had
succeeded in its Go Solar mission despite constraints of land. We do not have any wastelands or
deserts, yet Punjab is the most preferred state for investors as compared to other states which are
five to seven times larger in area," the minister said.
He added, "We have backed up our solar mission with a 25 year PPA with our electricity utility PSPCL. The fact that PSPCL has got a good credit rating of A+ has also boosted investor
confidence." "Moreover, hassle free land acquisition and land lease policies, pro-business policies,
incentives, infrastructure, power provision, and ease of doing business make Punjab an attractive
investment destination for companies," he said.
"In the current five year plan, the capacity addition in solar has increased from 9 mw to more than
500 MW. The target has been set to generate solar power capacity up to 1,500 MW by December
2016," he said.
The Statesman; August 31, 2015 (Edited)

Bundelkhand to turn
solar energy projects center

Lucknow: The rugged Bundelkhand region which is craving for development could soon turn into a
hub of solar energy projects as Akhilesh Yadav Government plans to set up 1000 MW solar energy
park in Jalaun. The Government has already acquired 250 acres of land in Jalaun for this purpose.
If everything goes well the area will have many small solar power plants operating in that area, a
senior official in CMs office said. The state cabinet had already approved 15 projects that will
generate 215 MW of solar energy. The decision was taken after final bids were approved by the
Department of Non-Conventional Energy Development Authority. The department is headed by the
CM himself.


The Adani Group plans to set up 50 MW solar power plant which will come up in Jalaun. Others
groups like Sukhveer Agro Energy Ltd, a UP venture which also delves into farm sector, Essel Group
of Zee, Sahasdhara Energy Pvt Ltd, Chennai, Sudhakara Infotech Pvt Ltd, Hyderabad, and other
groups that would set up solar power plants from 20 to 10 MW capacity each. These plants will sell
power to state grid under 25 years PPA. Price would be decided.
These projects might take time to come but the CM will inaugurate a solar power plant of 50 MW
in Jalauan later this week. This would be the first solar power plant in Jalaun. Earlier a solar power
project has come up in Mahoba. Soon all the districts have solar power projects, the official said.
In February Chief Minister had inaugurated a 10 MW solar power plant in Karkahkala village. UP got
its first megawatt-capacity solar power in 2012 when Chief Minister had inaugurated 2 MW plant in
village Sandauli of Barabanki district.
Officials say that Adani group has shown its willingness to set up a 1000 MW solar park in UP.
Senior officials of the Adani Green Energy group had a meeting with CM. The Adani group wants to
set up unit in eastern UP - somewhere near Varanasi. State governments willing-ness to go ahead
with solar power energy generation could be gauged from the fact that a proposal is on the anvil to
set up Solar Power Corp. The corporation, working like UP Power Corp Ltd, will set up solar power
plants in state-run sector. It will set up 3 plants of 30 MW each in Allahabad, Mirzapur and Jhansi.
UP, as a matter of fact, is blessed with a good solar radiation to the tune of 1,800 kWh-hour per
sqm on an annual average basis. This is necessary for operating a solar PV power plant. Chief
secretary Alok Ranjan said that these solar power projects will help government to meet its
promise to provide 16-20 hour power supply in rural areas and 20-24 hours in cities by the end of
The Pioneer; September 3, 2015 (Edited)

Solar Park
Bengaluru: Power Minister Piyush Goyal said Asias biggest solar park was coming up on 10,000
acres of barren land at Pavagada in Tumkur district to generate 2000 MW of power. No
impediments were seen in setting up this park jointly by the Union and State governments. Bidding
process would begin soon for this PPA solar park.
Deccan Chronicle; August 28, 2015 (Edited)

MP to have worlds second largest

solar power plant
Bhopal: After California, the worlds largest solar power plant is coming up in MP. The power plant
will be a unique one and will bring in opportunities in the new and renewable energy sector.
Energy, New and Renewable Energy Minister, Rajendra Shukla said that MP will house the world's
largest solar power station of 750 MW which is coming up in Rewa district. He informed that global
tenders for commissioning the solar power station in an area over 1,500 hectares at Bandwar
region in Gudh tehsil of Rewa, will be invited shortly. He said that if all goes well, the plant will start
generating solar energy by March 2017.The project - Rewa Ultra Mega Solar - is a JV of Solar Energy
Corporation of India and Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam, where in both parties have 50% stake,
he added. According to him, the project will come up on barren Government land. 1 MW power
generation needs 2 hectares of land. The minister said the cost of genera-ting 1 MW solar energy
comes to around 7.6 crore.
In February last year, Narendra Modi, as BJP's prime ministerial candidate, inaugurated Asia's
largest solar power project at Neemuch. As per reports, Welspun's solar power project in Neemuch,
some 400 km from Bhopal, had come up at a cost of around 1,100 crores on 305 hectares of
The Pioneer; August 31, 2015 (Edited)

Solar plant on SIPCOT campus

generates green energy in bulk
It produces nearly 4,500 units of power every day
A production unit in SIPCOT Industrial Growth Centre at Perundurai that sources one-third of its
power requirements from a captive solar plant is being cited by official circles as a model worthy of
emulation by manufacturing industries. On an average, the 1 MW solar plant spread over a fouracre expanse generates nearly 4,500 units of power every day.
Last year, the annual output from the solar plant was 13.5 lakh units, said Jayaraman, Factory
manager of Free Look Fashions (Dyeing Division). The plant, installed at an investment of . 8 crore
2 years ago, does not require any maintenance. When compared to the charge exceeding 7 per
unit levied by Tangedco for power usage in industries, the payback period for investment is 7
years. In the long-term, the plant would prove quite beneficial in cutting down power costs, Mr.
Jayaraman said.


Power drawn from the solar panels from 6.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. is connected to the grid. Official
sources said the company preferred not to avail itself of the subsidy schemes of the Centre and
State Governments. District Collector S. Prabakar, who visited the production unit last week, was
hopeful of others following suit. Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board officials say augmentation of
solar power by industries will go a long way in improving environment standards on the SIPCOT
The Hindu; August 31, 2015 (Edited)

Rooftops of govt buildings

to lead solar power drive
New Delhi: The Delhi government's draft solar policy, to be placed for cabinet approval soon,
mandates all Delhi government buildings to install solar rooftop systems within three years of the
policy's notification. The draft has also proposed that all new commercial buildings with plot size
greater than 500 sq m and 50% shadow-free rooftop area and all new residential buildings with plot
size greater than 300 sq m and 50% shadow-free area install solar rooftop systems. While the
policy sets a target of 2 GW solar power generation by 2025, the implementation of the proposed
provisions will rest with municipal corporations that are responsible for building bylaws. The
government is likely to introduce the RESCO model under which the consumers who provide the
rooftop space don't pay for the installation upfront, they buy the power generated by the company
instead. The draft policy is based on net-metering, with the government promoting development of
grid connected solar rooftop systems to meet its own electricity needs and injecting the surplus
into the grid.
The draft policy has been prepared by the Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC), the Delhi government
think tank, but many are concerned whether the policy will be notified in its current form given the
current government's stress on cheap power. In a recent meeting, Delhi power minister, Satyendra
Jain stressed on the need to make solar panels cheaper so that people can buy them without the
govern-ment's help. Market forces are the best drivers, said Jain. I also think more innovation is
required to make it cheaper. Delhi generates only about 7 MW solar power and has failed to meet
its RPO - a government regulation that makes it obligatory for state electricity regulatory
commissions to buy a certain percentage of electricity generated from renewable sources.
The Times of India; September 2, 2015 (Edited)

First solar PV project in Kerala opened

Palakkad: The first grid interactive solar PV project in Kerala, set up in the Chalayoor tribal colony
at Agali in Attappadi, was inaugurated by Electricity Minister Aryadan Mohammed. The scheme has
been implement-ted by installing solar panels on roof tops of 40 house-holds at Chalayoor colony,
with a maximum installed capacity of 96 kW. The solar panels have been installed in the central
portions of the houses in the colony. The day-time generation from the proposed plants would be
fed into the KSEB common grid and banked against evening consumption. The proposed plant will
also provide a database to study the effectiveness of solar PV at high altitudes as Agali is at about
1000 m above the sea level.
The New Indian Express; September 1, 2015 (Edited)

Houses take a shine to solar power

Cost down, investment recovered in 5-6 yrs
New Delhi: As solar panels get cheaper, they are being bought for use in houses also. Until last
year, industries and institutions like schools and hospitals bought most of the rooftop solar systems
to save on power bills and taxes. Free power from solar panels offset the high rate of electricity for
commercial use and businesses were also able to claim accelerated depreciation (a method to
increase deductions) on the equipment to lower their taxable income. Households, however, were
reluctant to pay the steep initial cost of rooftop systems. But now, prices have come down to a
level where users can recover the initial cost in 5-6 years, so interest in these systems is
Our company is receiving decent demand from the residential sector because people have
realized that they can reduce their electricity bill considerably. The highest slab of grid tariff that a
household pays is 9.6 per unit but with the installation of rooftop solar systems they only have to
pay around 6.5 per unit. Installing a system of 3kW-5kW can reduce the electricity bill by 30%,
says Tanya Batra, senior marketing manager, Sunkalp Energy.
The demand from households is growing slowly and there are limitations attached to the
installation of solar power panels. Wind speed determines the thickness of a solar panel. The
efficiency of a system also depends on its orientation. It has to face outwards and be at an angle of
28 degrees from the ground for optimum efficiency.


Sunil Tiku, associate vice president of Luminous Power Technology Ltd, says his customer base from
the residen-tial sector is limited to people who have independent houses. It is difficult to install
solar panels in multi-storey housing societies. Residents of apartments that do not have
(independent) roofs cannot install solar panels and not all the residents of a housing society would
want to invest so much in solar energy-driven systems.
The solar energy sector is carrying out various innovations in an attempt to attract the attention of
individual consumers towards the benefits of solar power. Rooftop systems come with a net
metering sys-tem that displays the power produced in real time on a monitor. Many companies are
also developing econo-mical solar products. We have come up with solar batteries that can charge
inverters. They are very eco-nomical and useful in areas that face frequent power cuts, says KK
Roy, director of Kalisons Telvent Pvt Ltd.
The Times of India; September 2, 2015 (Edited)

Solar power irrigation gains ground

Karur; Ever since S. Sivakumar (40), a farmer of Semm-andam Palayam in Karur district, chose
green (solar) energy to irrigate his fields, he does not use electric or kerosene-powered pump sets.
He needs electricity only when solar PV set up in his farm malfunction. He was among the few early
birds, who set up solar panels in their fields when the State government announced a pilot project
in 2014-15. When the agriculture department officials explained the huge subsidy offered by the
Government for installing solar power panels, he readily accepted it and contributed 1,17,512 on
his behalf. The Government contributed 3,84,000 as subsidy.
As many as 10 flexible PV panels with a sun tracking system have been installed with instruments
to covert and carry the power to his 5 HP motor pump set. The panels automatically change the
direction depending upon the movement of sun. I do not spend anything for irrigating my 5 acres
of land on account of electricity. Energy is available from 7 am to 5 pm. We get full power when the
sun is shining well, says Sivakumar. He had successfully harvested sorghum, green gram, black
gram and horse gram. If there was enough water in the well, he could go for irrigating paddy or
sugar cane too.
The successful installation and operation of solar pump sets had created enormous awareness
among the farmers. If more farmers came forward to switch over to green energy initiative, it
would reduce grid power consumption to an extent, said S. Jayandhi, Collector.
R. Madhu, Joint Director of Agriculture, said that the solar panels had a 25-year guarantee and
except for cleaning, they required no maintenance. It was easy to operate.
The Hindu; September 3, 2015

Govt may rope in Flipkart, Amazon,

Snapdeal to sell solar products
Govt has been writing to these firms to showcase solar energy products on their
New Delhi: The government is roping in the popular marketing platforms of e-commerce companies
Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal to promote solar energy in the country, according to a senior
government official. MNRE has been writing to these firms to showcase solar energy products such
as water heaters, lanterns, chargers, house systems, lights and coolers on their platforms. We
have been writing to Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal to showcase more solar products to sell as
none can match their reach today. We want to leverage this opportunity, said the official.
LiveMint; September 3, 2015 (Edited)

India's wind energy potential

estimated at 302 GW
New Delhi: Indias installable wind energy potential has been estimated to be 302 GW with towers
of a height of 100 metres. This has been estimated by the National Institute of Wind Energy and
the new findings were released in the form of a wind atlas launched by the Minister of State
(Independent Charge) Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy, Piyush Goyal. At the launch,
Goyal said that the wind atlas can help states plan their transmission networks better to take more
wind energy. It can also help in development of hybrid solar and wind systems which would help
stabilise the grid and better utilise the transmission network, Goyal said. Earlier, Indias wind
energy potential was measured to be at around 100 GW with a tower height of 80 metres.
The Hindu Business Line; September 2, 2015 (Edited)

Wind forecast to help tap more power

New system installed in 80 sub-stations


Chennai: TN has the enviable status of being one of the largest wind power producing states; it
also possesses more around 7,800 MW installed capacity of this renew-able power. Now to reap the
most of this resource, the state is utilising a new wind power forecasting service.
The output of wind farms, unlike conven-tional energy plants, is as
changeable as the weather. So it's not feasible to dep-end on it as the
only source of power. However, this flaw can be rectified if the energy
can be estimated beforehand for its effective management. The new
prediction system developed by National Institute of Wind Energy
(NIWE) in collaboration with Vortex Factoria De Calcul SL, a Spanishbased company, requires availa-bility-based tariff (ABT) metres in wind
energy pooling sub-stations. So far, these meters have been installed
in 80 sub-stations in the state and by the end of this month another 40
sub-stations will have them, NIWE scientists said. The system will
provide the forecast every 15 minutes for up to 10 days in advance.
This will help Tangedco in scheduling and dispatching electricity from wind turbine generators. With
the wind season on (May to October), the institute is aiming to provide highly accurate results and
customizable and cost-effective service. With this, they will know how much energy is available and
schedule their distribution reducing the burden on thermal plant stations, which supplies around
8,000 MW of the total 14,000MW of the state's energy requirement.
Head of wind resource assessment unit K Boopathi said the ABT metres are installed in wind energy
pooling sub-stations that connects wind turbines positioned within a radius of 10 km. They are
fixed on the group connector, which joins the distribution feeders. They will gather data on
availability of wind power through a modem and a SIM card fixed in the meter. The data will then
get transferred to a centralised server installed in Chennai. Scientists at NIWE will filter the data
before transferring it to the super computers at Vortex in Spain where it is processed. The
information is sent back to NIWE and is simultaneously made available in the monitor of the grid
managers at the state load dispatch centre and NIWE. As a pilot project few months back, NIWE
installed 1 ABT meter each in 24 feeders in a pooling sub-station in Kayathur.
The Times of India; August 28, 2015 (Edited)

Suzlon's ofshore windmill pilot

in Gujarat to cost 6,000 crore
To be set up on a pilot basis, work on the 600 MW project will commence early next
Ahmedabad: Suzlon Energy Ltd is planning to invest about 6,000 crore on Indias first offshore
windmill project in bay of Kutch in Gujarat. The work on the 600 MW project, to be set up on a pilot
basis, will start early next year. Suzlon is already conducting a techno-commercial feasibility study
for the offshore project. However, the company is taking regulatory hurdles and policy frame-work
into consideration, even as it plans to complete the pilot project in the next 3-5 years.
Offshore windmill projects require more capex as compared to onshore ones, with investments
being almost 2.5 times that of onshore. We estimate the project cost to be around 6,000 crore,
though it is too preliminary to talk about the financials at this moment, said Tulsi Tanti, chairman
of Suzlon Group. Tanti, however said, Compared to onshore, offshore projects will have
significantly higher capacity factor. Suzlon already has mature offshore technology available with
itself. Further, with offshore, you can grow in scale, which can also add to its competitiveness
against onshore. While the cost of offshore wind projects is still high, it can certainly be brought
down substantially through economics of scale.
According to the company, the economically feasible potential in the West Coast for offshore is
nearly 90,000 MW and in the South Coast nearly 120,000 MW totalling 210,000 MW in these
regions. Moreover, offshore enables larger wind energy projects, leading to potential for building
1,000-2,000 MW facilities. Additionally, the capacity factor of such projects can range from 30-45%.
Senvion SE, which was recently sold by Suzlon, enjoys leadership in the offshore wind energy
segment. Senvion introduced its multi-MW offshore turbines 10 years ago and has installed more
than 130 such turbines offshore. Business Standard; August 29, 2015 (Edited)

Farm waste to green energy:

Maha, Punjab lead way

New Delhi: Three years ago, when representatives from Sukhbir Agro approached farmers in Punjab
proposing they sell their farm waste to the company to generate bio-energy, no one believed them.
They proposed to buy our waste We didnt believe them, said Amolak Singh, a farmer.
However, as the farmers slowly came around to the idea the green benefits of this move became
apparent. Every November, farmers in the northern states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan burn


their agricultural waste increasing the air pollution in the national capital region and neighbouring
cities - home to over 25 million people.
The waste collected is enough for the companys biomass plant to generate green electricity
around the clock, which then is sold to the Punjab government at a price higher than thermal
power. They buy my produce and my waste, said an elated Amolak Singh, adding that by selling
the waste helps him cover his annual farm labour costs. Since the quality of the waste is also good,
the companys efficiency is about 80% - almost the same as thermal power and much higher than
that of solar power which currently stands at 13-18%.
A 2012 study by IIT-Kharagpur said that since most farmers do not find buyers for their waste, they
burn it - which releases a huge amount of emissions - or dump it leading to soil and water
contamination. India generates about 350 million tonnes of agricultural waste every year, which
can generate more than 18,000 MW of power a year. While its productive use is limited,
Maharashtras Satara district has shown it can be done by processing sugarcane molasses for to
generate electricity and act as fertilizer for fields.
A unit, set up by a company in collaboration with Sugarcane Farmers Cooperative and German
federal technical agency GIZ, collects the waste from around 10,000 sugarcane farmers. It is then
treated and fed into a boiler at the unit to generate electricity. Suresh Aklekar, chairperson of the
cooperative, said it is a win-win situation. The productivity has improved since the fertiliser was
used and the problem of dealing with the waste has also been taken care of, he said, adding many
other cooperatives in Maharashtra have now started adopting this new development model.
While Punjab and Maharashtra have taken a lead in setting up biomass plants, other states like UP,
Haryana, Gujarat and MP - which contribute half of Indias annual agricultural waste worth 50,000
crore - are lagging behind because of low tariff. MNREs renewable energys review found that tariff
as low as 2.2 in Kerala, 3.3 in MP, 3.6 in Karnataka and 4 in UP as compared to 5.05 per
unit in Punjab and 4.98 per unit in Maha-rashtra, thus making them attractive destination for
investors in the new-age green power. To provide a level-playing field across the states and give
them an incentive, the government had planned to set up a National Biomass Mission to harness
620 MT of bio-resources.
The Hindustan Times; August 31, 2015 (Edited)


Power sector meet

Panaji: The 16th Regulators and Policymakers Retreat 2015 (RPR), an interactive flagship event
hosted by the Independent Power Producers Association of India, will be held here from September
3 to 6. Experts will discuss issues in the energy and power sectors covering policy and governance.
The Retreat celebrates the achieve-ments of the Indian power and energy sector in which
regulators, policymakers and other stakeholders parti-cipate. Among those expected to participate
in the event are Piyush Goyal, Minister of State for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy.
The Hindu Business Line; September 2, 2015 (Edited)

Power tarif to swing with demand

Peak-hour rates may be higher; sops on offer to maximize industry work at night
Kolkata: West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission (WBERC), utilities and state power
department are chalking out a plan to balance the swing in the demand of power. Power demand is
typically low at night. But, it picks up in the morning and reaches a high in the afternoon. The
power demand dips a bit again around late afternoon before rising sharply in the evening.
Speaking on the side lines of a seminar on green growth and energy security organized by CUTS
International, WBERC chairman Rabindranath Sen said that time of day (TOD) tariff and solar power
would be used to stabilize electricity demand at 6,000 MW instead of a fluctuating demand that
ranges between 5,400 MW and 7,600 MW.
Balancing the load is important to increase the efficiency of thermal power plants which will use
less fossil fuel to generate a kW of electricity. It also makes commercial sense to do so, he added.
Sen planned to use the TOD tariff mechanism that disincentivizes electricity consumption during
peak hours through high tariff while encouraging its use during off-peak hours by offering low tariff.
He believed this plan would also encourage agricultural and industrial sectors to consume more
power at night. Use of water lifting pumps for irrigation and running of furnaces will have to shift
to night, when the electricity load is otherwise low. This will lower the demand in the evening and
push it up at night, bringing the power loads closer to a mean level of 6,000MW that we plan to
achieve, he said.
Simultaneously, the solar pump storage plant in Purulia will use thermal electricity produced during
off-peak per-iod to pump water up and then release it during peak period to churn the turbines and
generate electricity. While a 900 MW pump storage plant is already in opera-tion in Purulia, the
government is also designing a 1,000 MW plant at Turga, also in Purulia, to balance the growth of


power demand in the days to come. The cost of the 5-year project has been estimated at 3,500
Unlike the current plant, which uses thermal power to pump water, West Bengal State Electricity
Distribution Company Ltd (WBSEDCL) is planning to build a 1,200 MW solar power plant. The plant
will be set up in 4 phases, while 1,000 acres have already been identified in East Midnapore for
installation of 300 MW solar panels in the first phase of the project. The land is with the land revenue department. Once it is transferred to us, WBSEDCL will start developing it, said joint secretary
power Anindya Narayan Biswas.
Also on the cards is a 10 MW solar panel project along the 80-km banks of Teesta canal. The 68crore project will be implemented by WBSEDCL and will be partially funded by MNRE. WBERC has
also proposed rooftop solar grids to lower the electricity consumption load during 2.30pm3pm.While the state had earlier targeted to generate 18MW through rooftop solar grids by 2019,
now it is revising the target upward to 30MW-35MW. Govern-ment buildings, schools and large
private projects will be asked to set up rooftop solar power grids.
The Times of India; August 30, 2015 (Edited)

Power tarif relief unlikely this year

New Delhi: Despite Delhi government pushing Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) to
incorporate CAG's findings in the tariff process, it is unlikely that the components will be
incorporated in the capital's tariff order before the next fiscal year. DERC is going to ann-ounce
revised tariffs next month. The Commission ruled out the possibility of an interim tariff order based
on the CAG report, saying it was not allowed in the Electricity Act. Only orders relating to fuel
surcharge and PPAC can be passed in between 2 tariff orders. The Act clearly states 1 tariff order
per year,'' said an official. DERC is currently studying a copy of the draft report, wherein they have
been asked to confirm certain facts and figures. Exit interviews are still to be held and the discoms
still have to present their case. As far as we know, there could be changes in the draft report so
there is no way we can make it a part of the tariff order yet,'' said commission officials.
The CAG report alleges that the 3 discoms, BRPL, BYPL and Tata Power Delhi, had inflated their
dues to be recovered from consumers by almost 8,000 crore. The report says the discoms not
just manipulated consumer figures, but also purchased power at higher rates, inflated costs and
suppressed revenue. Stating there was scope to reduce tariffs, the report also put the three
companies in dock for transacting with other private firms without issuing tenders and for
favouring group companies.
The Times of India; August 30, 2015

One-time amnesty scheme today

New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will launch the one-time amnesty scheme for power
consumers at a public function at Badrinath Park in west Vinod Nagar on Sunday. The scheme was
approved by DERC earlier in August, with the government agreeing to bear any costs associated
with the scheme as the regulator denied allowing costs to be passed on to consumers via tariff
petitions. Sources said the government will bear a cost up to 50 crore in the scheme. The scheme
will remain into effect from 30 August 2015 to 30 September 2015. The one-time settlement
scheme will provide relief to the poor and medium income group consumers of Delhi by offering
resolution of various types of complaints/ grievances. According to the scheme, consumers residing
in JJ clusters, who could not pay their dues in the past, will be charged 250 per month only for the
period for which they have not paid the dues. The late payment surcharge or interest will be fully
waived. The dues can be paid in 6 monthly instalments.
In cases of direct theft bill settlement, for those with load up to 11 kW and booked for direct theft,
100% late pay-ment surcharge and 23rd of the balance outstanding amount of the bill will be
waived if they pay the total amount in one go. Otherwise, 60% of the outstanding balance will be
waived and balance outstanding should be paid in 4 monthly instalments.
Similar provisions will be followed for meter tampering cases. In cases of misuse of power, 100%
late payment surcharge and 50% of the balance billed amount will be waived and the connection
will be converted into the correct category and/or separate meter will be provided for non-domestic
use. All criminal/civil proceedings, if any, related to these cases, will be withdrawn.
A statement from the CM's office said: The CM, power minister, several MLAs and the power
department have been receiving large number of complaints from the electricity consumers of
Delhi against discoms mainly regarding alleged inflated bills; defective meters; alleged
unreasonable penalties imposed in theft cases; misuse charges, etc. Most consumers want a
resolution of their grievances particularly with regard to huge outstanding electricity bills and wish
to follow the rules but, due to various pending proceedings, they are not able to come into the
mainstream. In view of the hardships being faced by the common public, the government has
decided that the discoms should provide early resolution to the grievances of electricity


The Times of India; August 30, 2015 (Edited)

NTPC may sell solar power at

an India-lowest of 3.2/unit

New Delhi: NTPC Ltd is looking to bundle 10,000 MW of solar power with thermal power and sell the
same at 3.20 per unit. If the company does manage to sell solar power at these rates, it could be
a game-changer, as the lowest unbundled solar tariff quoted so far has been 5.05 per unit in MP.
A top company official said that apart from this, NTPC would sell another 15,000 MW at between
4.5-5 per unit. This will however not be bun-dled with thermal power.
We have committed this rate for 10,000 MW, the official said. For the other 15,000 MW, while we
would generate some of it, buy some of it and facilitate a transaction in some cases. There are
various models. We are also looking at dollar tariffing, the official said. The 10,000 MW NTPC plans
to bundle, would come up at its plants that are going out of commission or are at the end of their
operational life.
Meanwhile it would buy the other 15,000 MW via a process of reverse auction. This would be done
at the behest of the renewable energy ministry.
The Hindustan Times; September 1, 2015 (Edited)

KSEB opts for reverse bidding

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has decided to opt for a reverse
bidding process to purchase 200 MW of solar power from the domestic market. The reverse bidding
would explore the possibility of the power utility getting so lar power at a rate lower than the one
fixed by the state electricity regulatory commission for each unit of grid-connected solar power.
The state electricity regulatory commission had fixed the rate per unit of solar power at 7. The
reverse bid is expected to kick up competition among the solar power generators who are willing to
supply 200 MW of solar power to the board at a lower rate.
The RPO that was 0.25% till recently, has been increased to 0.5% of the total power generation in
the respective states after the Modi government came to power. The reverse bidding for 200MW
solar power would in no way affect the business prospects of those who have already set up or
obtained permission from the board to set up grid-connected solar power generation units,' KSEB
C&MD M Sivasankar said.
The Times of India; August 31, 2015 (Edited)

UP discoms improve, but still
among worst performers
The 5 discoms get poor ratings in terms of financial discipline and other issues
UPs discoms have been found among the worst perfor-mers getting poor scores in the latest allindia integrated rating of the countrys 40 electricity distribution utilities by the ministry of power
(MoP). Though all the 5 discoms in UP have shown an improve-ment this time, they are still poor
performers, especially in terms of financial discipline and regulatory affairs, the ratings indicate.

Dakshinanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Ltd (Agra discom) has got C grade, the worst rating that
stands for very low operational and financial capability, as per the results of the Third Integrated
Rating (based on the rating year 2014). The findings were disclosed a few days ago.
The discom shares its status with the Jharkhand Elec-tricity Board that is the only other power
distribution utility in the country to have got the C grade. The remaining four discoms Madhyanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Ltd (Lucknow discom), Purvanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Ltd
(Varanasi discom), Pashchimanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Ltd (Meerut discom) and Kanpur
Electricity Supply Company (KESCo) - have all been rated better than the Agra discom. They have
got the C+ grade.


Of the 40 power distribution utilities in the country, two have got A rating (high operational and
financial capa-bility), 10 have been given B+ grade (moderate opera-tional and financial capability)
and 13 have been awarded the B grade (below average operational and financial capability).
Twenty-one utilities that have shown imp-rovement in their AT&C losses during the financial year
2014. Four are from UP - Lucknow, Agra, Varanasi and Meerut. Only KESCo has failed on this count.
The Lucknow discom has been able to improve upon its realisation of receivables which has
resulted in a signi-ficant improvement in revenue realised. This, in turn, has resulted in an
improved cost coverage and improved AT&C losses level. Varanasi discom rating has also improved
for the same reason. But KESCo was found to have high AT&C losses on account of high distribution
losses. However, its improved collection efficiency impro-ving AT&C loss level helped it get a better
rating this time.
Anti-theft measures, customer service facilities and special courts in all districts were among the
Agra discoms key strengths. But high levels of the AT&C losses (32.4% in 2014), besides other
weakness like poor finan-cial profile, negative net growth, etc., have earned it the poorest rating.
All the 4 discoms in Gujarat have got the best ratings (A+). They were found to have healthy cash
collection from customers, comfortable cost coverage ratio, timely sub-mitssion of audited
accounts and timely submission of ARR/tariff revision proposals. Above all, their AT&C losses were
as low as 6.61%-13.10% in case of 3 discoms. The fourth one, that is, Paschim Gujarat Vij Company
Ltd was, however, found to have relatively higher losses at 23.4% during 2014.
Scores were assigned both on the basis of absolute and relative improvement in operational and
financial performance parameters. Financial performance para-meters like subsidy received, cost
coverage ratio, AT&C losses, financial planning carry the maximum weightage of about 60% out of
a maximum score of 100 marks. Efficient regulatory practices like issue of regulatory guidelines,
tariff guidelines, timely filing of tariff petition and timely issue of tariff orders were the second most
important factors holding weightage of 15%.
The Hindustan Times; September 1, 2015 (Edited)

Costly power tussle

Why are we purchasing 50% power at 5.50 per unit when many cos promising to give
it at cheaper rates?
New Delhi: Delhis power sector is turning out to be an issue of arm twisting between the Centre
and the Aam Aadmi Party government. While the Delhi government has been pressing for
surrendering expensive power and cancelling such agreements, central government run NTPC, on
the other hand, has allocated power from Jhajjar and Dadri II power stations back to Delhi. Irked by
the move and the absence of any response from the Union Ministry of Power on its previous
communication, the Delhi government has once again written a letter to Union Power Minister
Piyush Goyal. Delhi Power Minister Satyendra Jain alleged that the Central government has not
been responding to its letters, but rather restarted allocation of costly power to Delhi from plants
like Jhajjar.
A second letter has been sent to the Union Power Minister on the issue of surrendering expensive
power. The letter was sent on August 6 and it also urges on the Centre to intervene in cancelling
expensive PPAs, he said. The Delhi government in its previous letter had urged the Centre to
permanently surrender 2,255 MW of electricity provided by 11 central government power plants
which included 693 MW from APPCL Jhajjar (Aravali) and 735 MW from Dadri Stage-II (Thermal).
Instead of surrendering or cancelling agreements, centrally run NTPC has restarted power
allocation to Delhi from 2 plants, he rued.
The reallocation of power has not gone down well with the discoms as well. Electricity is as high as
10 per unit that is procured from the plant in Jhajjar. The one in Dadri II stations sells for about
5.4 per unit. The average cost of power purchase now stands at 3. There shall be no shortage
even if power from these sources is surrendered or if the agreement as a whole is cancelled
because we have enough tie-ups in short term supply, said a discom official. According to power
experts, if 376 MW from the Jhajjar plant is surrendered then the discoms would save around 350
crore per annum. In the case of Dadri II, the savings would be around 150 crore.
Delhi CM Arvind Kerjriwal also urged PM Narendra Modi to intervene and allow cancellation of
agreements with power companies, saying they are selling electricity at higher rates. I appeal to
the PM to intervene as it (the Centre) has powers to cancel the agreements. Why are we
purchasing 50% of the power at 5.5 per unit when many other companies are promising to give it
at cheaper rates? reasoned Mr. Kejriwal while launching the Electricity Bill Dispute Redressal
Scheme in East Delhi.
The Hindu; August 31, 2015 (Edited)

Arvind Kejriwal launches scheme to penalise electricity companies over



New Delhi: Delhi CM and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal launched the electricity bill
disputes redressal scheme. If any area doesnt get electricity for more than an hour, electricity
companies responsible will be penalised, Kejriwal said.
Business Standard; August 30, 2015 (Edited)

Power situation easy despite heavy demand

Patiala: Following deficient rainfall in August, the demand for power has seen a steep increase in
the past fortnight. PSPCL is using all its resources to ensure that no category of consumers in
Punjab faces power cuts. The demand is 20% more than what it was last year during the same
time. At present, PSPCL is drawing 524 LU power from state-owned thermal plants. It is getting 239
LU from its hydro plants, 163 LU from BBMB and 248 LU from private thermal power plants of
Punjab. Further, PSPCL is getting 14 LU from NRSE, central sector allocations of 732 LU, 126 LU
through banking arrangements and is also purchasing 58 LU, said officials. PSPCL has made
arrangements to buy 500 MW in the coming 2 months.
The Tribune; September 3, 2015

Govt to purchase additional

power through pvt players
Out of the total 3704 MW available, 83.52% is from coal-based thermal power, 14.16%
from hydro and balance 2.32% is from renewable energy sources
Patna: To meet its ever increasing energy demand, the Bihar government will soon invite bids from
private players to purchase additional 1,000 MW power for the state. This would be in addition to
the 460 MW it is already purchasing. In keeping with the demand, the state government is trying to
increase its power availa-bility to well over 4,000 MW by the year end.
Announcing this, energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav said that documents were being finalised
to invite bids from IPPs to purchase additional 1,000 MW. As on date, its total estimated availability
is 3,704 MW, of which 2,883 MW is from central sectors, 546 MW (460 MW from thermal and 86
MW renewable energy) is purcha-sed through IPP. Its self-generation through thermal and hydel
power is theoretically pegged at 275 MW.
Out of the total 3704 MW, 83.52% is from coal-based thermal power, 14.16% from hydro and
balance 2.32% is from renewable energy sources. In terms of ownership, central sector allocation
has the largest share of 77.84% followed by share of private sector or IPPs, which is 14.74%. The
share of state sector is about 7.42%.
Bijendra Yadav also punched holes into BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modis claim on the Central
package, saying it was simply re-financing and change in nomenclature of some schemes. Yadav
said Chausa power project was to be done by the SJVNL in which the state and Central governments did not have to invest any funds. The entire funds, he said, would be invested by SJNL.
Similarly, the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana was simply a change in nomenclature of the
Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyu-tikaran Yojana (RGGVY), he said. In fact, now the state would have to
invest 40% funds while the Centre will share 60%. In the RGGVY, the state had to invest just 10%,
he added.
The Hindustan Times; August 28, 2015 (Edited)

No more load-shedding in Kerala: Aryadan

Palakkad: Power minister Aryadan Mohammed has said that Kerala will have no load-shedding in
future as KSEB had taken up wind, solar and mini hydroelectric projects.
Inaugurating the first housetop solar energy project at Chalayoor tribal hamlet, he said the KSEB
would give 5% of the profit of solar power projects to those providing land for them on lease to the
The Times of India; September 1, 2015 (Edited)

Bengaluru will face 2-hr power cuts daily

Bengaluru: It's official. As Karnataka reels under drought, the cabinet decided to impose scheduled
power cuts from 2-8 hours on a rotational basis across the state, possibly from next week. While
the power cuts are likely to be restricted to 2 hours daily in Bengaluru, it will be 4 hours in the
district headquarters and as much as 6-8 hours in the towns and rural areas. Added to this will be
unscheduled power cuts.
Load-shedding has now become inevitable in the state since water levels in the reservoirs of all
hydel projects have dropped to the bottom, law and parliamentary affairs minister TB Jayachandra
said after the cabinet meeting. Reeling out statistics, the minister said the peak demand in
Karnataka currently is 10,188 MW but pro-duction from various sources ranged between 6,600 MW
and 7,300 MW, causing a shortfall of over 3,000 MW.


The state had requested the Centre to allocate 1,500 MW of power additionally to the state to tide
over the shor-tage, and efforts were on to purchase power from neigh-bouring states. In the event
of non-availability of power from the central grid and neighbouring states, load shedding will
become inevitable. The government is already spending over 240 crore per month to tide over
the shortage of nearly 3,000 MW of power, and we are again planning to buy more from private
producers, Jayachandra added. Earlier in the day, energy minister DK Shiva Kumar said power
situation in the state has reached a precarious situation due to drought and they are doing their
best to tide over the crisis. Money is not at all an issue and we will buy more power from private
producers to keep the widening gap between demand and supply under check, he added.
The Times of India; September 1, 2015 (Edited)

Odisha discoms spend 537 cr on capex

Conceptualised in 2010-11 with 2,400 cr outlay
Bhubaneswar: Discoms in Odisha have spent 537.45 crore on the 2,400 crore Capital
expenditure (Capex) scheme meant to trim high AT&C losses. The discoms have spent 104.87
crore in 2012-13, 206.28 crore in 2013-14, 192.16 crore in 2014-15 and 70.13 crore so far in
the current fiscal. The discoms have installed 23 33/11 kV sub stations, upgraded 154 33/11 kV
sub- stations and laid 2282 km of 11 kV lines, energy minister Pranab Prakash Das stated to the
state assembly.
The Capex programme was conceptualised in 2010-11 with an outlay of 2,400 crore. The
programme was launched to cut AT&C loss by 3% each year. Presently, the average AT&C loss of
the 4 discoms stands at 38.18% and it is targeted to bring down the loss to 26% by 2019; 1%
reduction of AT&C loss is expected to contribute 80 crore per annum to the state government.
The first phase of Capex that is expected for completion by this fiscal end, would see expenditure
of 970 crore as per the DPR prepared for the scheme. The second phase of Capex is now
redundant with the introduction of new schemes like Deendayal Upadhaya Gram Jyoti Yojana
(DDUGJY), Integrated Power Development Sch-eme (IPDS) and Odisha Distribution System
Strengthening Project (ODSSP).
The outlay under DDUGJY for Odisha has been pegged at 4,500 crore for 2 phases. Phase I has
been approved by REC. The cost of IPDS has been assessed at 4,200 crore.
Under ODSSP, 500 new 33/11 kV sub-stations are to be put up during 2014-19 period.
Implementation of the programme is estimated to cost 4,500 crore. As many as 181 sub-stations
are to be built in the first phase for which construction is underway at different sites.
Business Standard; August 27, 2015 (Edited)

Gencos move SC against BSES firms for recovery of 6,800-crore dues

The Anil Ambani-led discoms supply power
to 70% areas of Delhi
New Delhi: The Delhi government-run Delhi Transco Ltd (DTL) and state-run power generation
companies Indra-prastha Power Generation Co (IPGCL) and Pragati Power Corp (PPCL) moved the
Supreme Court asking Reliance Infra-backed BSES power discoms to immediately clear their
electricity dues of over 6,833 crore, payable since 2010. The state-run companies said that both
distribution company BSES Rajdhani Power (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power (BYPL) have to pay
current charges of around 2,217.6 crore to them due since January 1, 2014 as directed by the
apex court last year on March 26, May 6 and July 3. While the Anil Ambani-led discoms supply
power in 70% areas in Delhi, the 2 state power generating companies supply around 800 MW to
BSES daily.
A bench headed by justice J Chelemeshwar adjourned the matter till it pronounced judgment on a
related issue by month-end. A contempt application moved by the generating and transmission
(G&T) companies against the top brass for wilfully flouting and deliberately dis-obeying repeated
apex court orders is still pending. The SC had earlier on July 3 directed BYPL to pay the current
outstanding dues of 161 crore, against the alleged arrears of 410 crore, for the January to June
2014 period, to G&T companies immediately or before July 15, 2014. It had also directed the
company to continue paying the recurring monthly demands raised by the G&T companies on the
basis of its earlier order of May 6, 2014.
The G&T firms said the contemnors havent paid the bills since October 2010 and only ad-hoc part
payments were being made by them, causing innumerable inconvenience to the state-run
companies. BSES has been maintaining that it was going through a difficult financial condition, as it
has not been allowed to recover around 10,000 crore in losses due to an increase in power
purchase cost and low tariff.
The Financial Express; September 3, 2015 (Edited)

REC initiates pilot project in Bihar


REC has initiated a pilot project in Bihar to provide uninterrupted DC (UDC) power to consumers
during power cuts with the help of IIT Madras. This UDC power shall be sufficient to support every
household with 2-3 lights, 1-2 fans or a TV apart from charging mobile phones/laptop, even during
power shortages. Piyush Goyal, MoS, Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy and Rajiv Pratap
Rudy, MoS, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship were present at the event.
The Hindustan Times, September 1, 2015 (Edited)

NDMC 'Smart Grid' project to

improve power distribution
New Delhi: The NDMC is coming up with a 500-crore "Smart Grid" project aimed at reducing
losses through better power distribution and checking thefts and faults in transmission. "We are
coming up with a Smart Grid project to improve power distribution in areas under NDMC's
jurisdiction. The project, a part of the smart city initiative, will enable us to accurately judge power
requirements of each locality, cut down on outages and sell off the surplus," a senior NDMC official
The Union Power Ministry has, in-principle, approved the project and the Council gave nod to it in a
meeting last week. "The project with an estimated cost of 500 crore has been divided into 3
phases - replacing old equipment and cables, installing smart metres in households and institutions
under NDMC jurisdiction, and developing a software to improve the efficiency of electricity distribution," the official said.
"We will rope in consultants for the technology development. A software will be developed to work
out the future load requirement in every area accurately. "If there is deficiency of electricity in a
particular area, we will be able to schedule the distribution of power there in advance," he added.
At present, the civic body meets a peak demand of 380 MW during summers but in winters, it
comes down to 90 MW.
"So, during winters when less electricity is required, we will sell off the surplus electricity
beforehand as the software will help us to give accurate figures regarding consumption and
demand," said the official. The smart grid system will also help predict voltage interruption.
"Though the first phase works, including the overhaul of old cables, transformers and other
equipment, are likely to cost us a big amount, it will be beneficial in the long run. The new 'smart
metres' will help online bill generation and trace habitual defaulters," he added.
The Statesman; August 30, 2015 (Edited)

State gets its first Scoda control centre

Bhopal: Central Region Power Distribution Company has set up States first Scoda control centre at
Bhopal. It is connected with 20 sub-stations of 33/11 kV capacity in the state capital. Scoda system
is being developed in selected cities of the country. Through it, all 33/11 kV sub-stations, 33 kV
lines and 11 kV lines will be conducted with automation and power supply will be resumed in short
time after snapping.
The company has developed sub-station management system software to learn status of all
equipment situated at 33/11 kV sub-stations from central Control Centre (DCC). Through it,
information about functioning and dysfunctioning of equipment is being obtained. The software
helps in making available equipment immediately. It has become easier for field officers to
immediately repair and maintain out of order equipment since online information about it is
In sub-station management system software, database of all concerning equipment of 33/11 KV
sub-stations has been prepared, which is being updated regularly. Through it monitoring is being
undertaken to replace faulty equipments at the earliest. Due to it, consumers are getting quality
and continuous power.
The Pioneer; September 3, 2015 (Edited)

Gujarat govt scheme to help MSMEs

reduce energy consumption
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat government is planning to launch a comprehensive scheme to help statebased Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) reduce their energy consumption as well as
carbon footprint using latest technologies in conservation. The project will be launched in the near
future by Gujarat Energy Deve-lopment Agency (GEDA), the nodal agency of state gov-ernment for
promotion of energy efficient technologies.
According to GEDA Director J.T. Akhani, there is a huge scope in MSME sector for conservation as
well as reuse of energy consumed by these units. Providing more insight into the ambitious
scheme, GEDA's senior executive engineer Raju Pandya said Gujarat based units have a potential
to save 2,500 MW electricity by adopting simple, yet effective ways to harness the waste heat.
"There are 3 lakh MSME units in Gujarat. Most use boilers and furnaces, particularly those engaged


in making steel bars, chemicals, dyestuffs and processing of textiles. However, most of these units
are not aware of techniques by which waste heat generated in their plants can be reused," he said.
Financial Chronicle; August 31, 2015 (Edited)

Power row dims Telangana plan

to digitise state schools
Hyderabad: With the Telangana government looking to turn government schools into digital
schools, electricity has become a major problem. Many government schools dont have electricity
as they fail to pay bills on time due to high tariffs and insufficient funds. Bafflingly, govern-ment
schools are considered as commercial enterprises and the tariff is quite high. The TS education
ministry has asked TS Transco and discoms not to categorise schools as commercial units. These
schools are currently being charged at 6.90 per unit of electricity. This is one of the reasons
government schools are not properly main-tained. They spend all their money paying electricity
bills or default most of the times. Many schools dont have electricity for several days due to this,
a senior school education department official said.
Deccan Chronicle; August 31, 2015 (Edited)

After LED, UP to promote

power-efficient fans, ACs
Lucknow: After toeing PM Narendra Modi's `Prakash path' scheme for subsidised LED lamps, UP
government is likely go 2 steps ahead and provide energy efficient fans and air conditioners too at
subsidised rates to people. UPERC has asked the UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) and the Bureau
of Energy Efficiency (BEE) to come up with a scheme wherein registered power consumers could
get energy efficient fans and ACs through government controlled outlets, that too at a price which
is lesser than in the open market. UPERC chairman Desh Deepak Verma confirmed that a proposal
to this effect has been presented to UPPCL and BEE.
The Times of India; August 28, 2015 (Edited)

36 yrs on, PSPCL fails to set up grid in Baghrian village

Fatehgarh Sahib: PSPCL has failed to set up a power grid station at Baghrian village in the past 36
years even though the state government makes tall claims about improving power infrastructure.
Congress MLA Kuljit Nagra said the then Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) purchased 8 acres
from the village panchayat at 5,000 per acre in 1978-79 to set up a grid. He said the board had
promised round-the-clock power supply to nearly a dozen villages located on the Fatehgarh SahibPatiala border. Nagra said Kulwinder Baghrian, general secre-tary, Kissan Khet Mazdoor Union,
submitted a memo-randum to CM Parkash Singh Badal in 2012. The CM then directed PSPCL
Chairman to look into the matter, but to no avail. Nagra said the issue wasnt resolved even when
Baghrian met the CM at his residence in 2013.
The MLA said when the village panchayat approached PSPCL, the corporation said it didnt own
land in Baghrian village. Nagra demanded that either the PSPCL set up a grid station at the site or
return the land to the panchayat at the price it was sold. He said the current market price of the
land was 12 crore.
The Tribune; September 1, 2015 (Edited)

Instal prepaid meters in 6 months: Hyderabad High Court tells Discom

Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court has directed the Southern Power Distribution Company of
Telangana Ltd to install pre-paid meters for all HT consumers who require supply through a pre-paid
meter within a period of 6 months. Justice A. Ramalingeswara Rao was allowing a batch of writ
petitions by several HT consumers challenging action of power distribution companies in not
installing pre-paid meters, but demanding additional consumption deposits.
After hearing the arguments of the respondents and petitioners, the judge ruled that the Electricity
Act, 2003 empowers the distribution licensee to demand reason-able security for the electricity
supplied to the consumer.
But, if the consumer is prepared to take the supply through a pre-paid meter, the distribution
licencee cannot demand security. The judge observed that in view of the implementation of the
system of pre-paid meters in various states, it is not open to distribution licensees in Telangana
state and AP to state that the pre-paid meters are not available.
The judge said, If the licensee does not provide meters in spite of legislative intent, it is equally
open to the petitioners to contend that so long as the pre-paid meters are installed, they need not
deposit the amount. The judge ruled that it was not open to authorities to deny installation of prepaid meters by taking shelter under Amendment Regulation No.3 of 2013 which is contrary to
legislative provision contained in sub-section (5) of Section 47 of the Act. The judge said till the


meters are installed, the petitioners shall pay half the additional consumption deposit amount
demanded by the respondents which shall be refunded to the petitioners as soon as the pre-paid
meters are installed.
Deccan Chronicle; August 30, 2015 (Edited)

8,000 irrigation pumps given

temporary power connections
Baikunthpur/Raipur: CM Raman Singh said that temporary power connections have been provided
to about 8,000 irrigation pumps last month owing to the scanty rainfall situation in some parts of
the State. He urged the Collectors to provide power connections to the farmers once they receive a
request from them. There is heavy rainfall in some and scanty in other districts of Chhattisgarh,
he said. The CM, while participating in a meeting of Surguja and North Region Tribal Development
Authority held at Koriya district headquarters in Baikunthpur sanctioned 1.50 crore for providing
electr-icity connections to irrigation pumps of 325 farmers.
The Pioneer; September 2, 2015 (Edited)

TPDDL & PayUMoney

promote e-Bill payment
In a bid to encourage its customers to Go- Paperless Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL) in
association with PayUMoney launched a Pay and Win Scheme. TPDDL customers can now easily
pay their bills online through PayUMoney and win exciting prizes. This scheme is for consumers
who pay electricity bills through PayUMoney.
The Hindustan Times; September 1, 2015 (Edited)

Central govt has excess power, but K'taka lacks transmission capacity


Bengaluru: Karnataka, which is already grappling with severe power shortages owing to extended
drought and technical glitches in some of its thermal plants, may have to brace for more dark days.
Union minister of state for power Piyush Goyal categorically ruled out additional power to
Karnataka from the national grid simply beca-use of transmission constraints in the state.
Currently, north India is stuck with surplus power production, but southern states that are
grappling with supply shortage are unable to use or buy it because they do not have the
transmission capacity or power corridor,'' Goyal said after a meeting with Karnataka power minister
DK Shivakumar and a team of top officials here. Goyal, who also holds the coal portfolio, however,
said the Centre will provide ample amount of coal for thermal power plants in Karnataka to boost
production. Goyal said both the central and state governments will work to resolve the power
problem in the state. I am extremely happy that Karnataka's minister Shivakumar is showing a
resolve to work as Team India advocated by Modi, he added.
The Times of India; August 28, 2015 (Edited)

Prospects of power link brighten

Special compensation offered amounts to

100% of the fair value of land fixed.
Kottayam: Prospects of Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) starting work on the 400 kV
Edamon-Kochi transmission link have brightened with the State government taking the lead for
another round of consultations with the stakeholders in Kottayam.
The project for evacuating power from Kudankulam was in limbo in the face of
protests from the rubber growers in 4 districts, including Kottayam, where the
proposed overhead line passes. Resurvey operations were revived last month, but
had to be stopped following certain disputes. The Corporation was sore over the
delay in commencing the work, as it was unprecedented. This would inevitably
lead to cost overruns and other technical hassles. The compensation package had
to be revised to assuage the protesters. The special compensation offered
amounts to 100% of the fair value of land fixed by the government in the 4
districts. The compensation, equivalent to the cost of acquiring the land, has been
offered to secure their consent for drawing the line and it would not alter their
ownership rights on the land.
Work on the line up to Edamon had been completed in 2010 itself. In the wake of the disputes, the
government, on August 19 last, had decided to offer a compensation which amounted to 20% of
the fair value to landowners who provide land for erecting towers to draw the lines. This went


against the existing practice of giving an ex gratia of 2.5% of the fair value of the land provided for
the purpose, sources said.
As the protesters refused to relent, the government in January decided to enhance it to 100% of
the fair value and that amounted to 1,020 crore. The State is already facing a power shortage
and the crisis is set to deepen in the coming months. Any laxity in stepping up the power importing
capacity would invariably force KSEB to rely on other costly options such as diesel and naptha
stations. Officials of PGCIL, Power Department, and KSEB would attend the negotiations. The
Corporation is unlikely to wait indefinitely for completing the survey operations to commence and if
it decides to retract, it would prove dearly for the State, sources said.
The Hindu; September 3, 2015 (Edited)

Power transmission: A towering problem

Increasing collapse of high capacity towers, exposes the fragility of grid infrastructure
Between April and June this year, well over a dozen high-capacity power transmission towers of
765 kV and 400 kV capacity, the backbone of the Indian electricity network, collapsed in the face of
pre-monsoon winds, highlighting the fragility of the countrys grid infrastructure. The 765 kV
double-circuit transmission towers hook up power lines that typically carry electricity to the tune of
3,000-5,000 MW and the collapse of more than 1 tower could potentially trigger a cascading grid
failure, unless Special Protection Schemes are in place or the transmission system is spruced up to
handle a huge loss of power.
The official estimate of the time taken to bring these towers back into operation ranges between a
few days to well over a month in some cases. In response to the inter-state transmission towers most of which are set-up by state-owned transmission PGCIL - toppling like nine pins, the countrys
grid manager, POSOCO, has raised the red flag. POSOCO has underlined the fact that as compared
with first quarter of last fiscal (April-June 2014), there is a marked increase in the 765 kV tower
collapses and damage in the first quarter of this financial year (April-June 2015), forcing the grid
manager to issue an alert that these failures be investigated thoroughly and remedial measures
undertaken immediately across all utilities. In the absence of this, the grid continues to remain
vulnerable, POSOCO has observed in an official note, where it underscores the point that it is
improbable that all the failures are due to reasons beyond control, considering the geographical
spread of incidents.
The Indian Express; September 2, 2015 (Edited)

Payments banks 14 lakh cr bonanza
for infra sector


Mumbai: Payments banks can annually free up as much as 14,00,000 crore in incremental credit
for the fund-starved infrastructure sector, says a SBI Research report.
"Apart from helping banks offer facilities to the unbanked sections, we estimate that on the asset
side, an incre-mental amount of at least 14 trillion ( 14 lakh crore) per annum can be freed up
for credit needs of the infrastructure sector, as these banks can only invest in G-secs, this entire
amount can be freed up to lend to infrastructure," SBI Research said.
Explaining how they arrived at the 14 lakh crore of additional funds for investment, the report
said people are holding around 13% of cash with them for their day-to-day transactions. In a simple
arithmetic, even if the cash with the public comes down by 1%, it will increase banks' deposit base
by around 15 lakh crore and given a credit-deposit ratio of 75% banks can loan out an additional
11.25 trillion, through the multiplier effects. On the liability side, "we believe retail penetration of
banking credit is very low at 9.5% of GDP. This is much less than China's 22.5% and significantly
lower than our South Asian counterparts," says the report.
Stating that there is a huge opportunity for banks to unlock their retail business potential, the
report said, "even if the incremental share for retail loans as a percentage of GDP are to increase
by only 1%, it could mean an additional 1.3 trillion benefits to the banking system," the report
On August 19, RBI had granted in-principle approval to 11 entities from 44 applicants to set up
payment banks. Some of those who got the licence include Reliance Industries, the Birlas, the
Mahindras, Vodafone, and Bharti Airtel, among others. Outstanding deposits of a small bank is
about 1 trillion. If each payment bank mobilises one-fourth of such deposits in a year (assuming a
25% penetration, which is viable given that Jan Dhan mobilisation is around 22,000 crore so far),
the 11 payment banks will be able to mobilize around 2.75 trillion in a year, the report said.
Financial Chronicle; August 30, 2015 (Edited)

NTPC sets a record in


single-day power generation

New Delhi: NTPC Ltd, India's largest power generator, has achieved a record highest single-day
electricity genera-tion of 733.12 MU. The record generation of 733.12 MU from NTPC's 18 coalbased power plants, 7 gas-based units and 8 solar and hydro power stations, was achieved on
August 27, the company said in a statement. "The Declared Cumulative Capability of the stations
was 91.10% and PLF of 86.34% on the day," it said. NTPC currently has an installed capacity of
45,548 MW (including 6,196 MW through JVs), according to the company website. During financial
year 2014-15, NTPC contributed 25% of total electricity generated in India with 16% share of
country's total installed capacity as on March 31. "NTPC recorded gross electricity generation of
241.261 BU (stand-alone) in 2014-15, registering a growth of 3.42%," the statement said.
PLF of NTPC's coal stations was 80.23% against national average of 64.46%. Two stations recorded
more than 90% PLF. "All NTPC stations achieved Plant Availability of above 83%. Four coal stations
of NTPC featured among the top 10 stations of the country in terms of PLF in FY 2014-15," the
statement added.
Financial Chronicle; August 28 2015 (Edited)

Gammon Infra to sell holdings

in 9 project firms
Sale to Canada's Brookfield Asset Management to get company 563 cr cash inflows
Mumbai: Gammon Infrastructure Projects Limited (GIPL) has entered into an agreement with
Canadian asset management company Brookfield to sell its holdings in 9 project companies. Six of
the SPVs are in the road sector and 3 are in the power sector.
A consortium comprising funds managed by Brookfield Asset Management and its affiliates will
take over these projects by paying 192 crore in cash and waiving 285 crore in advances to
GIPL, which has consolidated debt of nearly 4,000 crore.
The SPVs in the deal are Andhra Expressway, Rajah-mundry Expressway, Kosi Bridge Infrastructure
Co, Gorakhpur Infrastructure Co, Mumbai Nasik Expressway, Vijayawada Gundu Golanu Road
Project, Pravara Renew-able Energy, Sikkim Hydropower Ventures and Aparna Infra Energy India.
Six of the projects to be acquired by the consortium are operational, 1 is being expanded and 2 are
under development. The total cost on completion of the asset basket is an estimated 6,750 crore
- 2,935 crore for 6 operational projects and 3,815 crore for the remaining 3 - of which 3,097
crore had been capitalised till March 31, 2015. GIPLs debt on March 31, 2015, for these projects
was 1,718 crore and its net exposure to the asset basket was 415 crore. A company release
said after the transaction, the consolidated debt of GIPL will reduce to 2,229 crore from 3,947
Gammon Group Chairman Abhijit Rajan said, The transaction involving nine projects represents
the largest asset sale at one go in the Indian infrastructure industry. This is reflective of the
improved sentiment due to the positive approach of the government in the infrastructure space.
Brookfield Managing Partner Anuj Ranjan said the transaction represented Brookfields first major
invest-ment in Indian infrastructure and provided it a platform to participate in the Indian growth
Business Standard; August 29, 2015 (Edited)

KPTL shares gain over 4% as company bags orders worth 880 crore
Kalpataru Power Tranmission (KPTL) shares gained as much as 4.6% intraday on Friday after the
company informed stock exchanges that it has bagged new order worth 880 crore in both
domestic and international markets. At 1.14 pm, the scrip was trading 0.87% higher at 254.50. It
opened at 252.50 and had touched a high and low of 267 and 252.50, in trade so far.
In a BSE filing, the KPTL said, The company secured 5 transmission line projects together valued
at 465 crore in Tanzania, Ukraine, Thailand, Tajikistan and Ethiopia. It also won a turnkey
contract for 400 kV transmission line of approximately 342 crore from Karnataka Power
Transmission Corp. KPTL has also won a 75 crore pipeline laying project from GAIL.
For the quarter ended June 2015, the company reported net profit of 48.41 crore, up 15.65%,
against 41.86 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago. However, the scrip wiped off its
days gain in the second half of the trading session and closed 1.37% lower at 248.85
The Financial Express; August 28, 2015 (Edited)

IEMs review BHELs contracts worth 10 cr


Bhopal: As a part of the Integrity pact, Independent External Monitors (IEM) - DRS Chaudhary,
Retired IAS, Pravin Tripathi, Retired IAS and VVR Sastry, Retired C&MD, BEL - visited BHEL, Bhopal.
The monitors reviewed contracts valuing more than 10 crore. BHEL has appointed the IEMs to


ensure transparency and integrity in award and execution of contracts. The IEMs appre-ciated that
in past 6 years of introduction of Integrity Pact there has been no complaint. Besides, the IEMs also
visited Swarna Jayanti Block, New Transformer Block, Ultra High Voltage Testing Lab and Hydro Lab
of the unit.
Later, a meeting with IEMs was also held. On this occasion AMV Yugandhar, Executive Director,
BHEL, Bhopal; HK Nigam, General Manager, Materials Management, all General Managers and
other senior officers of the unit were present.
In the review it was reiterated that BHEL systems had matured and stabilised and appointing of
IEMs is a positive step in giving confidence to the public of the transparency and integrity in
company operations. Meanwhile, the BHEL administration has clarified that some forged
appointment letters are being used by few miscreants. The administration in a statement said, It
has been observed that some criminal elements are issuing letter of appointment using the name
of BHEL and the logo of the organisation. The letter also contains seal of Director, HR and signed by
some Ashok Kumar. It is therefore informed that no such appointment letter has been issued by
BHEL is registering First Information Report in police station in this regard. Nobody should
therefore get deceived by such imposters and if any such case comes in anyones knowledge, it
should be immediately reported to the police, it added
The Pioneer; September 3, 2015

Odisha moots fly ash brick clusters

Steps will be taken for identification of land and providing infrastructure facilities for
setting up clusters
Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government is in the process of devising a detailed project report (DPR)
for promoting fly ash brick units in a cluster approach. As many as 2230 prospective entrepreneurs
have shown interest to set up fly ash utilisation units and have filed EM-1 (entrepreneur
memorandum) for the purpose. "I would request to identify the districts where more people have
shown interest to start fly ash based units and arrange to prepare a DPR to develop induced
clusters in such districts", Panchanan Dash, secretary MSME department, wrote to Director of
On the basis of DPR, steps will be taken for identification of land and providing other infrastructure
facilities for setting up of the clusters. Stressing on the cluster based approach for establishment of
fly ash units, Dash said. It may be a problem to relocate existing units, but it would be easier to
facilitate establishment of new units in the designated cluster."
At present, 25 MTof fly ash is generated annually from the thermal power plants operating in the
state. Out of this, about 62% (15.5 MT) is utilized in various activities such as manufacturing of
construction materials, filling of mine voids, low lying areas and abandoned quarries. In 2013-14,
around 1.1 MT of fly ash was used in manu-facturing of bricks, representing 4.1% of the total
utilisa-tion. Power grade coal in Odisha contains about 40- 48% ash and fly ash generation is 7-9
tonne per day per MW.In 2013, the state government had decided that fly ash bricks confirming to
relevant BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) specifications will be used in the construction of all
government buildings located within a radius of 100 kms of fly ash generating units.
Business Standard; September 1, 2015 (Edited)

Major Australian bank decides against funding Adani's Carmichael mine

The National Australian Bank second of Australia's 4 big banks to say no the embattled
Carmichael mine
Mumbai: Following the lead of all top American and European banks, which have refused to fund
Adani Groups controversial coal mining project in Australia, the National Australia bank has also
decided to steer clear of lending to the group. Adrian Burragubba, the spokes-person for the W&J
Traditional Owners Family Council, welcomed the move and said the Council is deeply heartened
that NAB has ruled out any involvement, now or in the future, in financing this disastrous project.
Today, NAB has acted with moral authority and in accordance with the principles of corporate
social responsibility to which it is signatory. Its decision brings this disastrous project one step
closer to its demise, Burragubba said.
The Adani group has invested close to $1 billion in developing the mine, but over the last few
months has decided to withdraw all contractors who were preparing the site for mining. The
company had hoped to invest as much as $15 billion in the project. However, widespread and loud
protests from environmental groups and a sharp fall in coal prices since 2011 have helped scuttle
the groups plans.
The bank had clearly done its due diligence. It understood that we have rejected a land use
agreement with Adani for the mine, and that no means no, Burragubba said, adding that a
meeting with the bank reinforced for our people that our moral claim to exercise our rights in
relation to our traditional lands is recognised by responsible businesses. NABs decision follows


commitments from over 10 international banks, including Adanis former chief financier for
Carmichael, Standard Chartered, and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, to withdraw from the
Business Standard; September 3, 2015 (Edited)

Adani loses key customer

For Carmichael mine in Australia
Melbourne: In a fresh setback for Indian mining giant Adani in Australia, one of its key customers
Korean major LG said that it will not purchase coal from its controversial $ 16 billion project while
reports emerged that a leading bank may not fund the venture.LG had signed a letter of intent (LoI)
to purchase 4 MT of coal last year. However, LG issued a statement saying, "The LoI concluded by
and between LG International Corp and Adani Mining Pty Ltd was non-binding and is invalid as of
July 21, 2015 in accordance with the expiration of the LOI". Withdrawal of LG leaves just Koreas
Posco as the only other external buyer, with a prospective 5 MT demand. More than half the
production is earmarked for Adani Power.
Financial Chronicle; September 3, 2015 (Edited)

Jindal Steel shuts Australia colliery

The steady fall in coal prices has taken a toll on another Australian asset owned by an
Indian company.
Mumbai: The 128-year-old Russell Vale Colliery, owned by Wollongong Coal in which Jindal Steel
and Power has a majority share, has decided to shut operations due to the sharp decline in coal
prices in the last few months. Last month, Australias Federal Court overturned the governments
environmental clearance for the Adani Groups $16-billion Carmichael coal mine.
In 2013, Jindal Steel and Power acquired control of Wollongong Coal to source fuel for operations in
India. The company recently said it is looking to divest some of its overseas assets to trim debt of
over 40,000 crore. The company has mines in Mozambique and Botswana also. The shutdown of
the Russell Vale colliery, which started operations in 1887, will result in 80 job losses and follows
unsuccessful efforts by Jindal to turn Wollongong Coal around, said Milind Oza, CEO of the
operating firm, in a statement we have tried to avoid this unfortunate situation by undertaking a
series of workforce restructurings, it said. Wollongong Coal reported an A$199.2-million ($142
million) loss in the financial year to March 31, following an A$169.4-million loss in the previous
The Hindu Business Line; September 2, 2015 (Edited)

New coal research centre to boost

Aus-India energy partnership
Melbourne: Australia-based Curtin University and Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad (Jharkhand),
have inked an agreement to establish and operate Australia-India Joint Research Centre for coal
and energy technology. The new centre will act as a platform for bilateral colla-boration in
research and technology development for both fossil fuels and renewable energy, with a focus on
clean coal technologies, according to a statement by the Curtin University.
The Free Press Journal; September 2, 2015 (Edited)

Toshiba probing 10 new accounting issues

Toshiba Corp. uncovered 10 new cases of accounting problems, including at a US unit, prompting it
to miss a regulator's deadline for submission of its fiscal 2014 earnings release. The Japanese
industrial group obtained permission from the securities regulator to postpone the report due
Monday until September 7.
President Masashi Uromachi, who took charge after 3 of his predecessors left following a July thirdparty report on accounting practices at the company, said he may quit if the new deadline was
missed. The second delay of earnings, initially due in May, comes after internal and external probes
of the Japanese industrial group's acc-ountting led to the resignations and caused at least $1.2
billion in write downs.
Toshiba said Monday it discovered irregularities in percent-of-completion accounting related to a US
hydro-power unit's construction project. "One week delay is not such a big deal, but that's another
week of uncertainty," said Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute in Tokyo. "They need
to report as soon as possible."
Business Standard; September 1, 2015 (Edited)


While Govt claims 24X7 power supply; Collector wants money to run
Bhopal: The MP government has been claiming for around 2 years now that round-the-clock power
supply was being made across the state. However, the Collector of Raisen JK Jain, in a letter, has
demanded an allocation of 1.75 lakh from Commissioner, Treasury and Accounts for the running
generator in district treasury. The said letter has been forwarded by Commissioner Ashish
Upadhyaya to Principal Secretary, Energy, ICP Kesari.
According to sources, District Treasury Officer, Raisen had sought budget from the department for
running generator. Commissioner, Treasury and Accounts, raising an objection, said that when
there is 24 hours power supply in the state why where was the need for running generator.
Collector, Raisen in his response, informed the Commissioner that there is problem of power supply
in the district and hence budget should be allocated. Treasury office is situated in the Collector
Office in Raisen and it is clear that it is facing power supply issues.
Raisen district is a constituency of Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sushma Swaraj and it is the
only district in the state, which is represented by 3 ministers namely Gaurishankar Shejwar,
Rampal Singh and Surendra Patwa in the cabinet. Jain when contacted refused comment and said
that he was on training. According to sources, several districts in the state have sought budget to
run generators in Treasury. A senior officer of Energy Department maintain that adequate power
supply is being made in all districts and only Collector can tell why he is asking for budget for
generator. Previously, Power Distribution Company had released its power cut plan but when it was
protested, CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan had to give clarification saying that there was sufficient
The Free Press Journal; August 27, 2015

Sahay expresses concern over

delay in Maithon rail project
Dhanbad: Former Union minister Subodh Kant Sahay has expressed concern over the delay in the
construction of 8 km railway line project of Maithon Power Ltd (MPL) even though the company has
paid the price of the land to the government. Sahay raised the issue during the inaugural function
of Om Besco Rail Product Factory at Mugma. He told CM Raghubar Das that the silence of his
government in this regard was baffling especially when he wants to make Jharkhand a power
surplus state.
The Maithon Power rail line project dates back to 2008 when the company paid 18.31 crore to the
government for 64.23 acres of land and another 18 crore for rehabilitation and relocation of
farmers. MPL planned a railway infrastructure project to ensure reliable coal supply for sustainable
operations of the plant, spanning over 20 km, crossing NH2, dedicated freight corridor line of Indian
Railways and consisting of 25 bridges and finally connecting with the grand chord line of Eastern
Railway at Thaparnagar and Mugma stations, which was appro-ved by the railways in 2010.
The land acquisition department identified altogether 2463 farmers and apparently made
payments in phases between 2008 and 2011. But some beneficiaries raised an alarm saying they
had not received the compensation. The land compensation scam unearthed early this year in
Dhanbad vindicated the stand of the farmers. The vigilance department has begun probe into the
The Hindustan Times; September 1, 2015 (Edited)

Congress, AAP raise voice against

power tarif hike
Mumbai: Congress city president Sanjay Nirupam is opposed to the recent power tariff hike of
Reliance Energy and Tata Power. He has now set up helpdesks in most civic wards to collect
signatures and electricity bills from consumers, who are reportedly frustrated with the huge tariff
in the suburbs. We are undertaking the campaign for 2 days, during which citizens can come
forward and sign up. We will take up their cause and represent the issue before the CM and state
governor in the next few days, he said. Recently, the Aam Aadmi Party also threatened a public
agitation if their demand for audit of power discoms was rejected.
The Times of India; September 1, 2015 (Edited)

Wont allow mortgage of state: CPI

Khammam: Khammam: CPI state secretary Chada Venkat Reddy said that CM K. Chandrasekhar
Rao is trying to mortgage Telangana state to the World Bank. He said that Mr Rao is showing
interest to get World Bank loan for implementing reforms in the power sector. He said that the
people would not allow the TRS government to mortgage power sector to the World Bank. He said


that Rao would face the wrath of the people of Telangana if the government yielded to the
conditions of World Bank to get loans from it.
Recalling the struggle of the people in united AP over the increasing power tariff, he said that the
people taught the then CM N. Chandrababu Naidu a lesson by defeating him in the 2004 elections.
Mr Reddy addressed a programme conducted on the memory of martyrs who were killed during the
Basheer Bagh firing incident. Then onwards, no government tried to increase the power tariff
abnor-mally. He said that it is not correct to privatise the sectors related to the infrastructure in the
Deccan Chronicle; August 29, 2015 (Edited)

CITU and INTUC decide to shun

coal ministry meet on strike
Kolkata: Major trade unions of coal sector Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and Indian National
Trade Union Congress (INTUC) have decided not to attend the meeting convened by the coal
ministry to discuss the September 2 strike, to protest against the proposed stake sale in CIL. We
will not attend the meeting today convened by the coal ministry, CITU-backed All India Coal
Workers' Federation General Secretary Jibon Roy said. The operating trade unions in coal industry
and common coal workers are against further 10% disinvest-ment in CIL. The main demands of the
trade unions include stopping disinvestment of state/central govern-ment/public sector
undertakings, and giving pension guarantee to all workers, among others.
Business Standard; September 1, 2015 (Edited)

Neyveli Lignite workers call of strike

Neyveli (TN): In a surprise development, trade unions spearheading the 39-day-old indefinite strike
by employ-ees of state-run Neyveli Lignite Corp over wage revision announced suspension of the
agitation. The strike by around 12,000 regular employees is being called off tem-porarily and the
workers would report for duty from the night shift today, leaders of AIADMK and DMK affiliated
trade unions told reporters.
However, they did not cite any reason for the suspension of the strike, which largely did not affect
normal opera-tions of the thermal power plants operated by the NLC as 10,000 contract employees
and officers attended to their work. The decision to suspend the strike was taken at a meeting of
office-bearers of various trade unions parti-cipating in the agitation and the next course of action
would be announced soon, AIADMK union leader, A. Abbu and DMKs Thirumavalavan said.
NLC chairman B. Surender Mohan welcomed the decision. NLC will not take any vindictive action,
he said. In the last round of talks, the unions insisted on their demand of 16% wage increase while
NLC offered 13%.
Deccan Chronicle; August 28, 2015 (Edited)

Power staf plan protest rally against govt

Dehradun: Members of the Uttarakhand Urja Kamgar Sangathan decided to hold a protest rally in
September against the state government in support of their demands. The agitated members from
Uttarakhand Power Corporation Ltd (UPCL) and Power Transmission Corp of Uttarakhand Ltd
(PTCUL) have registered antipathy that the power corporations administration had not taken any
steps to fulfil their demands, despite instructed by CM Harish Rawat. Laxman, officiating chairman,
Uttarakhand Urja Kamgar Sangathan, said exploitation of workers in all 3 power corporations would
not be tolerated. He said that date of proposed rally would be finalised soon.
The Tribune; September 1, 2015 (Edited)

UPPCL demotes 35 engineers,

pro-quota union to launch stir
Lucknow: The UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) on issued the first list demoting 35 engineers in
compliance of the Supreme Court order that had held the provision of consequential seniority in
promotions for the SC-ST employees as null and void. All those demoted belong to the scheduled
castes (SC). They had got out-of-turn promotion during the Mayawati government. The move has
disappointed the pro-quota union that has announced launch of an agitation from Thursday.
As per the orders issued by the UPPCL, 33 superintending engineers have been demoted to the
post of executive engineer and one chief engineer has been reverted to the post of superintending
engineer. A chief engineer has been demoted by two grades and made executive engineer. UPPCL
will come out with more such lists in the days to come. A senior official said the demotion would
have no impact on the salaries of the engineers and the employees concerned.
The Hindustan Times; September 3, 2015 (Edited)


Joint raids planned to curb coal pilferage

Durgapur: To combat pilferage of coal from nationalised mines and abandoned mine pits and to
curb the continuing menace of sand trafficking, the special Monitoring Task Force decided to
conduct joint raids with para-military forces, besides blasting shut certain abandoned pits where
coal seams have been left open.
The meeting was held at the office of the CP, Asansol-Durgapur Police Commissionerate in Asansol
town where DM, Burdwan, Dr Soumitra Mohan, and senior officials from the Eastern Coalfields Ltd
(ECL) and Central Indus-trial Security Force (CISF) took part.
WB CM Mamata Banerjee, during the 100th Adminis-trative Meeting in Burdwan on 15 July had
stressed the need to curb the illegal coal and sand trafficking in the south Bengal districts. The DM
and the CP were asked to expedite operation against the mafia. The meeting was significant in the
wake of strong agitation by Trinamul Congress at the Churulia Police Outpost where police
personnel were detained for 3 hours. Trinamul suppor-ters alleged that every day 250 tractor loads
of coal pilfered from the abandoned pits were being dispatched from Churullia and its adjoining
villages to different locations in Birbhum district across the Ajoy River.
CP Ajay Nand said after the meeting: We have decided to conduct mild blasting in the mine pits
where coal seams have been left open and the miscreants are getting access. He added: Many
pits have been left open and we have decided to ask the WBPDC to join the next meeting.
WBPDCL has been awarded the erstwhile Bengal Emta Coal Mine in Churulia, where operations
have been suspended for the last 3 months.
The Statesman; August 29, 2015 (Edited)

Coal scam: Ex-Coal Secy passes buck

on Manmohan Singh
New Delhi: Former Coal Secretary HC Gupta told a special court that then PM Manmohan Singh had
given the "final approval" for allocation of coal block to Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Ltd (KSSPL),
a charge refuted by CBI which said the then premier was "kept in the dark". In his arguments,
Gupta claimed he had "no dominion" over the natural resource and Singh, who was also holding
the portfolio of Coal Ministry at that time, had given final approval for allocation of coal block.
"Accused (Gupta) was only Coal Secretary and heading the screening committee, which was only a
reco-mmending body, and thus had no dominion over the natural resources of the country as the
final approval was made by the Minister of Coal (Singh)," his counsel BS Mathur told Special CBI
Judge Bharat Parashar. The counsel was advancing arguments on framing of charges in the case
pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Thesgora-B Rudrapuri coal block in MP to KSSPL.
However, the CBI countered Gupta's arguments contending that "the Coal Minister/PM was totally
kept in the dark" and alleged that it was the then Coal Secre-tary who had "misled" the senior
officials of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) - TKA Nair and Vini Mahajan. While Nair was the then
principal secretary to the Prime Minister, Mahajan was the then director in PMO.
"Gupta misled the PMO officials. He (Gupta) told TKA Nair and Vini Mahajan that everything was
done as per merits of the companies," senior public prosecutor VK Sharma said. The court
concluded the hearing on arguments on framing of charges and fixed the matter for September 16
saying it would seek clarifications, if any, from CBI as well as the accused.
The Statesman; August 29, 2015 (Edited)

Public participation needed for
social development: Piyush Goyal


Mumbai: Union Minister Piyush Goyal on August 30 said wider public participation needs to be
encouraged and people should increase the scale of operation so that the goal of socio-economic
development of the society would be achieved. Goyal, was speaking at a Junior Chamber
International event, an official release said. At the event, the Minister was felicitated with 'Man of
the Year Award' for contribution in the field of politics, it said. He further said there is a need to
convert the cynicism and negativity into spirit of positivity involving wider public participation to
achieve the healthy development of the society.
Deccan Chronicle; August 31, 2015 (Edited)

RP Watal to be made Finance Secretary

New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi has given his nod for RP Watal, the senior most Secretary in the
Finance Ministry, to be designated as Finance Secretary. A 1978-batch AP cadre IAS officer, Watal is
currently Expenditure Secretary in the Finance Ministry.


The Hindu Business Line; September 1, 2015

Top FinMin officials reshuffled

New Delhi: Even as Budget-making exercise is underway in the finance ministry, the government
announced major changes to top bureaucratic posts in the ministry. Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta
Das will be the new economic affairs secretary. Financial Services secretary Hasmukh Adhia will
replace Das as revenue secretary. Corporate Affairs Secretary Anjuly Chib Duggal will be the new
financial services secretary. While Das is from the TN cadre, Adhia is from the Gujarat cadre and
Duggal from Punjab cadre.
Business Standard; August 29, 2015 (Edited)

15 IAS, 1 PCS officers transferred

Chandigarh: DP Reddy has been divested of the charge of Financial Commissioner, Taxation,
although he retains the charge of Principal Secretary, Finance. Anurag Aggar-wal gets charge of
Financial Commissioner, Taxation, while A Venu Prasad replaces him as MD, Punjab Infrastructure
Development Board. He also gets charge of Secretary, Power, a charge held by Aniruddh Tiwari.
The Tribune; August 29, 2015 (Edited)

Rising again?
He was passed over as the first chief secretary of Telangana when Rajiv Sharma was appointed to
the post. But now, things might look up for AK Parida. Presently special chief secretary of
environment and forests, the chances are that he will be appointed the next chief secretary of AP
after the present incumbent retires.
The Times of India; August 31, 2015 (Edited)

Arup Roy Choudhury retires

after 5 years at the helm of NTPC
Companys senior most director to hold interim charge
New Delhi: No one is indispensible, was the perfect parting shot of NTPCs C&MD Arup Roy
Choudhury as he demitted office after 5 years at the helm. Dynamic was Piyush Goyal called
Choudhury just a few days back. And with 2 years of service left, Choudhury was denied an
extension as per the recent policy. AK Jha, Director (Technical), the senior most director in the
company will head the company in the interim till a permanent replacement is found.
The Hindu Business Line; September 1, 2015 (Edited)

New NLC director takes charge

NTPC former group general manager V Thangapandian assumed charge as Director (power) of
Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC).
The Times of India; September 2, 2015 (Edited)