Monthly Archives: March 2013

Jaitapur villagers set to follow Kudankulam residents

Taking inspiration from anti-nuclear power activists at Kudankulam, villagers opposing the 10,000-MW Jaitapur nuclear power project in Maharashtra have decided to launch a similar agitation from April 10.

The mega project, being executed by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), is coming up at Madban village in Ratnagiri district. The project is expected to cost over Rs 1 lakh crore.

Madban resident Praveen Gavankar, who has been spearheading the agitation for the last six years under the aegis of the Janhit Seva Samiti, told Business Line that the villagers would lay siege to the project, albeit peacefully.

“Our people would be sitting about 100 metres away from the compound wall and will not move from the area until the project is closed down. As the agitation progresses, some persons are also likely to go on a hunger strike,” he said. Gavankar added that emissions from the power plant are set to destroy the neighbouring mango and cashew orchards. The hot water effluents would also, he claimed, destroy the local fisheries sector .

“Despite all the safety measures, the Fukushima incident did happen. Tomorrow, if a similar event takes place at Jaitapur, will NPCIL take responsibility? Will they (NPCIL) insure us from such an event,” Gavankar asked. Despite repeated attempts, NPCIL officials were unavailable for comment.



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NTPC commissions 5MW solar plant in Port Blair

NTPC Ltd has commissioned and synchronised a 5-MW solar photo-voltaic power project in Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

It is the first Grid-connected Solar PV Project in these islands. It is also NTPC’s first greenfield renewable solar PV project.

Overcoming serious challenges, including lack skilled manpower, machinery and inclement weather conditions on the islands, NTPC commissioned the plant in a record six-and-a-half months. The project was executed by Photon Energy Systems over 10 hectares.

The power major is in the process of implementing several renewable energy projects in the country. A few of these projects are coming up in South India, including one near the NTPC Ramagundam thermal power project in Andhra Pradesh. In phase one of the project, the company plans to set up 10 MW of solar PV farm at Ramagundam and possibly later raise it to 25 MW.

NTPC is also working on wind farms in Karnataka and Kerala.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 31, 2013)

Power bills going up due to 24-hour supply: Delhi CM

Under attack from the opposition BJP and Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Admi Party for the hike in power tariff, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Friday justified the increase and said bills had gone up due to 24-hour electricity supply.

“People will try to instigate you saying that these bills are inflated. But I would say you one cannot compare bills for 24-hour power supply to that of 8-hours supply,” Dikshit said after inaugurating a road project in Ballimaran area.

Rejecting criticism of the increase in tariff, the Chief Minister said her Government had ensured round-the-clock power supply in the city which used to witness 8 to 9-hours-long power cuts. “There are a lot of youths here who don’t even know that there used to be 8 to 9-hour-long power outages in Delhi,’ she added.

Last month, Dikshit had said people should cut power consumption on various electrical appliances if they cannot afford high electricity tariff, a prescription that had evoked sharp criticism.





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Outages in 2 power plants add to AP power woes

The power shortage in Andhra Pradesh is likely to worsen with generation of 1050 MW capacity in two thermal power plants of AP Genco impacted due to problems.

A 550 MW unit at Kothagudem thermal power station has been taken out of production following some technical snags. The unit officials are likely to take about 24 hours to rectify the problem.

Another 500 MW thermal power unit 7 at Vijayawada thermal power station has been affected due to problems in the boiler. Till such time as both these units get rectified, the State will have to bear additional shortages.

Lately, the energy demand has shot up to over 300-306 million units per day and the available power is about 240-245 million units.

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh Government has directed power utilities to make all-out efforts to meet the power demand from the agriculture sector.

It has suggested effective functioning of the call centres to address grievances in power supply .

The Government is providing power to farmers during the ongoing rabi crop season to protect standing crops. The power distribution companies have been asked to ensure efficient functioning of the call centre mechanism to address the problems of farmers immediately.


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Haryana government gives nod to discoms debt rejig

The Haryana government today decided to take over debt liabilities of Rs 8,162.09 crore of power utilities as part Centre’s bail out package for power distribution companies (discoms). The decision in this regard was taken by Haryana Cabinet, which met under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, here today while approving the proposal of the Finance Department for financial restructuring of power distribution utilities. The Cabinet also authorised the State Level Monitoring Committee to take up the matter with the Central Government and finalise the Financial Restructuring Plan with amendments, wherever required. Under the scheme, the state government will take over the liability of Rs 8162.09 crore of the two distribution power utilities — Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam and Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam — by directly issuing bonds or infusion of funds for amount of 50 per cent of the liabilities calculated by March 31, 2012. These liabilities will be taken over in next two to five years when the fiscal space so allows, as provided in the FRP, said an official release.

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Power ministry has a problem identification & solution mechanism, says Jyotiraditya Scindia

THE ministry of power has evolved an institutional mechanism for identifying problems and finding solutions, minister of state (independent charge) for power Jyotiraditya Scindia said. Calling it 360-degree problem identification and solving capability, the mechanism includes bi-annual state power ministers’ meet, discussion with bank CMDs on a quarterly basis, constitution of an advisory group of industrialists and economists and regular meeting of Parliament consultative committee. “During the last three months, we had three parliament consultative committee meetings. The 360 degree mechanism includes meeting with financial institutions and private power producers on a regular basis,” Scindia said. Admitting that coal shortage is turning into a major problem for power producers, the minister told ET that his ministry could not address the problem alone. “We are finalizing the policy of price-pooling of coal which has already received Cabinet’s in-principle approval. I myself had two meetings with Union finance minister, and various options are being worked out,” Scindia said. “The CCI (cabinet committee on infrastructure) will soon take up the proposal,” he said.

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NTPC commissions its first solar power plant at Dadri

NTPC, the largest coal based power producer of the country commissioned it first solar power project. Its 5mwp (megawatt-peak) solar photo-voltaic (pv) plant at the Dadri thermal power station will start functioning from March 30 thwith an estimated annual generation of 7.26 million units. The total project capital cost is put at Rs. 48.59 crore. Wipro limited has designed the project over 27 acres of land within the premises of existing NTPC BSE -0.35 % Dadri plant. The power generated by the solar plant will fed in the gas-based Dadri plant’s transmission line through a series of inverters and step-up transformers. This would be further transmitted to the grid. The beneficiary of the project is GRIDCO ltd. in Orissa. NTPC hopes to reduce carbon emission by the rate of 0.82 million tonnes /mw-hour and thus help in environment protection. NTPC plans to add 20mw of solar pv during the next fiscal. The company has also installed a weather station in the solar pv area to record the readings for solar insulation, ambient temperature & wind speed to monitor the

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Is VGF the way forward in financing the solar project

Guest Post:

The solar energy is a capital intensive and has lower operation maintenance cost however the risks involved are high and the viability of a project depends upon factors such as regulatory support and technology trends.
In order to make the sector more attractive, the Phase 2 (2012-2017) draft suggests financing the majority of the proposed 2600 MW of solar energy, which is the domain of the Central government, through VGF (Viability Gap Funding), which in turn is funded by the NCEF.
VGF scheme was envisaged in infrastructure sector by govt of India, to attract private sector resources and techno managerial efficiencies, under PPP model. Primarily, this facility is meant to reduce capital cost of the projects by credit enhancement
Public-private partnerships using VGF have been severely criticized in other sectors like water supply, airports, roads etc. as it has led to companies setting up the infrastructure but not being able to properly operate and maintain it. Re-negotiation of terms is very common, leading to unforeseen public expenses
As per the phase 2 draft version the bidders will bid for VGF in RS/MW for the solar projects and the bidder quoting the low amount of VGF would be selected. The funding would happen in 3 stages:
• 25% at the time of delivery of at least 50% of the major equipment at the site. This would be based on the cost of total procurement.
• 50% on successful commissioning of the full capacity of the plant
• Balance 25% after one year of operation meeting requirements of generation as per guidelines.
In case of solar VGF, a capital subsidy, does not incentivize developers to build an efficient power plant possible .It provides incentivize to setup plant with low capital ,using sub standard raw material and engineering costs making subsidy a large part of Capex .
Better system design and construction which were the major drawbacks of Phase 1 would still haunt, with VGF in place, as the performance is hardly ameliorated by paying out 25 per cent of the VGF after one year.
No major renewable policy world wide support capital subsidy for the growth of the sector as it proved inefficient moreover in the beginning of wind sector in India, capital subsidies were provided which low quality turbines being set up hence low capacity utilization of Indian wind sector.
The NCEF and Finance ministry should discuss the innovative methods for financing a solar project such as GBI (as in case of wind) .GBI mechanism used in an efficient manner could give an ideal solution and beneficial one.
A developer could pay average pooled price to the utility and the gap for the power produced through could be filled by the GBI received from centre moreover in longer run as average pooled price increases GBI in turn reduces at same amount hence providing a cash flow to the developer and return of loan to the government .
Assume the 1520 MW of PV solar now set for VGF would draw about Rs. 3000 crore rupees from the NCEF with no returns. A reversible GBI could on the contrary end up making a compounded total of Rs. 2300 crore rupees (assuming a 5.86 per cent increase in average power purchase cost per year as calculated by the Planning Commission)
The management of a reversible GBI would arguably be more complicated than a VGF but the large potential gains of thousands of crore along with potentially higher output from plants warrants a more complex management apparatus
The VGF scheme could attract more fly by operators and suppress more serious contenders and would introduce and add up to the various malpractices prevalent in the industry.




About author: Ankush Vashisht (1st year Energy management Student ,GLIEMR, Solar enthusiast )

Allcargo relocates key part to Sasan power project

Logistics major Allcargo Logistics, that had bagged the contract from Reliance Infrastructure to handle and transport 66 units of Super Over-Dimension Cargo (SODC) from various ports in India to Sasan Power, has relocated a critical component.

The de-aerator has been relocated to Reliance Power’s Sasan ultra mega power project (UMPP). The critical aspects of the cargo were the dimensions of the de-aerator and the complexity of the route from Haldia to Sasan in Madhya Pradesh, the logistics company has said.

Commenting on the project, Armin Kalyaniwalla, CEO, projects division at Allcargo said, “En route to Haldia, the de-aerator was faced with challenging turning points, leading to an overhang.”

Allcargo has so far handled seven out of the nine power projects of the Reliance Group and bagged contracts for transportation of heavy machineries, customs clearance and port handling over the last six years.


(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 29, 2013)

TN sanctions Rs 1,909 cr to Tangedco

The Tamil Nadu Government has sanctioned Rs 1,909 crore as ways and means advance and long-term loans to the cash-strapped Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation.

The Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam presenting the final supplementary estimates for 2012-13 seeking the Legislature’s approval for expenditure, said the financial assistance includes Rs 1,000 crore as ways and means advance and Rs 909 crore as long-term loans to the utility.

The East Coast Road is set to get an upgrade with the Government sanctioning Rs 177 crore to the Tamil Nadu Road Development Company and the Information Technology Expressway Ltd for carrying out development work on the road.

These were among the Rs 6,113 crore total supplementary estimates placed before the House.




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