MSEDCL buying ‘surplus’ power, selling at a loss

NAGPUR: Even though some parts of the state are still suffering load-shedding, MSEDCL has ‘surplus’ power, that is being sold at a loss in the Indian Electricity Exchange (IEX). The reason is that it gets so little revenue by selling power in the areas facing load-shedding that it prefers to sell it in the exchanges.

MSEDCL managing director Ajoy Mehta told TOI that the company was selling between 300-500MW between 9pm and 6am every day at less than Rs 2 per unit. “We are forced to buy this power at over Rs 3.50 per unit as we have a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the generator. So, we have no option but to sell it on at whatever price we get.”

Mehta claimed that losses were reducing in load-shedding areas and he expected them to come down below the maximum acceptable level by March 2014. “As of now, only around 300 of 7,200 feeders are facing power cuts. Last year, the number of feeders with load-shedding was around 5,500,” he said.

Commenting on distribution franchisees, Mehta said that the franchisees in Bhiwandi, Nagpur and Jalgaon were regularly paying their bills while Aurangabad franchisee GTL’s dues had reduced from Rs 250 crore last year to Rs 60 crore.

He refused a direct comment on whether more distribution franchisees would be appointed in the state. “When we had appointed the franchisees, MSEDCL’s losses were on the higher side but now we have been able to reduce it on our own. They now stand at 14.7%.”

When it was pointed out that consumer representatives of Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) had contested this figure, which had held up MSEDCL’s tariff petition for 2013-14, Mehta said, “We have replied to each and every query raised by the Commission. The consumer representatives are still raising queries.”

 

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