Emissions billow from smokestacks at the NTPC Ltd. Badarpur coal-fired power plant near residential property as the sun sets in Badarpur, Delhi, India. (Photographer: Kuni Takahashi/Bloomberg)

Power Minister RK Singh Outlines Decisions Taken To Boost Power Sector

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Watch Live: Power Minister RK Singh Briefs Media

Cabinet Approves Rs 31,560-Crore Investments For Power Projects

The government cleared investment proposals worth over Rs 31,560 crore in power projects, including two coal-based thermal plants and a hydro project on river Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir, said Singh.

Here are the details of the projects that have been approved:

  • An investment of Rs 10,439.09 crore for the 2x660 MW Buxar Thermal Power Project in Bihar.
  • An investment proposal for a 2x660 MW Khurja Super Thermal Power Plant in Bulandshahr at an estimated cost of Rs 11,089.42 crore.
  • The investment for acquisition of Lanco Teesta Hydro Power Ltd. and the execution of balance work of the Teesta Stage-VI Hydro Electric Project by NHPC in Sikkim. This will be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs 5,748.04 crore (at July 2018 price level).
  • The investment for the construction of Kiru Hydro Electric Project (624 MW) by Chenab Valley Power Projects Pvt. Ltd. in Jammu and Kashmir. The project will be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs 4,287.59 crore

(With inputs from PTI)

Reviving Stressed Power Plants

Singh added that the Cabinet also approved the recommendations of a group of ministers relating to stressed power projects including grant of coal linkage for short-term power purchase agreements.

The recommendations include:

  • Grant of coal linkage for short-term power purchase agreements
  • Allowing existing coal linkage to be used in case of termination of PPAs due to payment default by distribution companies
  • Procurement of bulk power by a nodal agency against pre-declared linkages
  • Holding coal linkage auctions at regular intervals
  • Determining assured contracted quantity based on efficiency
  • Making payment of late payment surcharge mandatory
  • Non-cancellation of PPA/Fuel Supply Agreement/Long Term Open Access post National Company Law Tribunal scenario
  • Non-cancellation of PPA for non-compliance of COD

At least 50 percent of the coal put up for auction will be devoted to the power sector, said Singh. Power plants currently have 16 days of coal stock with them, he added.

Payment Security Mechanism Not Considered

The high-level empowered committee to revive stressed thermal power plants had recommended a payment security mechanism for independent power producers to ensure timely payments to generators because of their poor financial health.

Singh said that the recommendation was not considered by the cabinet today because the Power Ministry is yet to take the Reserve Bank of India’s approval for the same.

Took Measures To Make Hydro Power Competitive: Singh

The cabinet has approved measures to promote the hydro power sector, including declaring large hydro power projects as part of non-solar renewable purchase obligation.

Here are the key highlights of the hydro power policy:

  1. Large hydro power projects to be declared as renewable energy source (as per existing practice, only hydro power projects less than 25 MW are categorised as renewable energy).
  2. HPO as a separate entity within non-solar Renewable Purchase Obligation to cover Large hydro power projects commissioned after notification of these measures
  3. Tariff rationalisation measures including providing flexibility to the developers to determine tariff by back loading of tariff after increasing project life to 40 years,  increasing debt repayment period to 18 years and introducing escalating tariff of 2 percent;
  4. Budgetary support for funding flood moderation component of hydropower projects on case to case basis; and
  5. Budgetary support for funding cost of enabling infrastructure i.e. roads and bridges on case to case basis as per actual, limited to Rs 1.5 crore per MW for up to 200 MW projects and Rs 1.0 crore per MW for above 200 MW projects.

(Source: Press Information Bureau)

Power Minister RK Singh said that the measures announced will make the hydro power sector competitive. Additional funds will be provided separately for development of infrastructure in areas where hydro power project is being set up, Singh added.

Cabinet Approves Measures To Boost Hydro Power Sector

Large hydro power projects above 25 MW capacity that are commissioned in the future will be classified as renewable energy source and covered with a purchase obligation for buyers, the Press Information Bureau said in an emailed statement.

Cabinet Approves GoM’s Recommendations On Stressed Power Plants

The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved recommendations of a group of ministers relating to stressed power projects including grant of coal linkage for short-term power purchase agreements.

The decision was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

Briefing reporters, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the recommendations approved include grant of coal linkage for short-term power purchase agreements, allowing existing coal linkage to be used in case of termination of PPAs due to payment default by distribution companies and procurement of bulk power by a nodal agency against pre-declared linkages.

Central/state generation companies may act as aggregator of power.

(Source: PTI)