Gujarat contests Tata Power claim for hike in Mundra tariff
Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd, the Gujarat Government-owned electricity distribution company, has said that the change in coal export regulations in Indonesia is no ‘act of God’. This statement was made to the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission in the context of Tata Power Company’s appeal for a higher tariff for the power produced by the Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project. The 4,000 MW Mundra Ultra Mega Power of Tata Power Company’s subsidiary, Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd, has got into financial trouble following change of coal export regulations in Indonesia, the source of coal for the project. Tata Power won the Mundra Project in a competitive bidding process in 2006, bidding Rs 2.26 a kWhr, sourcing cheap coal from Indonesia. A couple of years ago, the Indonesian Government made it mandatory to link the Indonesian coal prices to international prices of coal. The resultant increase in fuel prices made it unviable for Tata Power to sell electricity at Rs 2.26 a unit. Tata Power has since appealed to the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission for a tariff hike. It has said that it needs at least 40 paise more even for breaking even, and a further 25 paise for a reasonable return.