Monthly Archives: August 2013

REC plans to raise over Rs 37,000 cr in current fiscal

State-run Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) plans to raise over Rs 37,000 crore this fiscal through various instruments, a top company official said today. “We will be raising over Rs 37,000 crore from both domestic as well as overseas markets. We may look at various instruments like bonds, ECBs, etc,” REC Chairman and Managing Director Rajeev Sharma told reporters here today. The company is already planning to raise Rs 5000 crore through issue of tax-free bonds. The bond issue, carrying coupon rate ranging from 8.01 per cent to 8.46 per cent on per annum basis, will open tomorrow and close on September 23. REC is issuing tax-free bonds with a face value of Rs 1,000. This tranche issue is for an amount of Rs 1000 crore with an option to retain over-subscription up to Rs 2500 crore aggregating up to Rs 3500 crore (tranche 1) and a shelf limit of Rs 5,000 crore by issuance of bonds in one or more tranches. “The tranche 1 bonds carry a coupon rate of 8.01 per cent for series 1 bonds, 8.46 per cent for series 2 bonds and 8.37 per cent for series 3 bonds on per annum basis. The bonds will be listed on the BSE,” REC General Manager ( Finance) Rakesh Arora said.

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Electricity tariff hike for BEST customers

In a major electricity tariff shock to Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) consumers, state electricity regulator MaharashtraElectricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) approved an average 8.90 per cent tariff hike today for fiscal 2013-14.

The revised tariff will come into effect from September 1.

MERC has approved BEST’s multi-year tariff plan till FY16 and allowed an average hike of 8.90 per cent, 8.61 per cent and 8.42 per cent in FY14, FY15 and FY16, respectively.

Correspondingly, the average tariff for the three years has been increased to Rs 9.97 per unit, Rs 10.93 and Rs 11.94, respectively.

BEST had proposed a 20 per cent hike for FY14 and 7 per cent each for FY15 and FY16.

“To avoid any kind of tariff shock to consumers, the Commission approved the tariff increase,” MERC said in its order today.

Under the revised plan, tariff for residential consumers in the category of up to 100 units has been revised to Rs 3, for upto 300 units to Rs 5.53 and for upto 500 units to Rs 7.79. For customers consuming above 500 units, tariff has been revised to Rs 9.85 per unit.

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Electricity circuit bench for Mumbai

MUMBAI: Maharashtra governor KSankaranarayanan will inaugurate the circuit bench of Mumbai of the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) on Friday.

The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity, established under Electricity Act, 2003 hears cases arising from the orders of the state electricity regulatory commissions, joint electricity regulatory commissions throughout the country and central commission at Delhi.

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TNERC panel tells TANGEDCO to file plan of action

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has asked TANGEDCO to submit a well structured business plan to prevent delays in the commissioning of on-going projects and ensure the optimal transmission and distribution of power generated by them.

The commission pointed out that the response for such an initiative had been ‘highly unsatisfactory’ despite letters and directions.

As per the directions released on August 27, the business plan should have detailed individual schemes to cater to its directions. The plan should outline measures to ensure that projects which were were scheduled for commissioning last year but missed the date be commissioned at the earliest.

The business plan must also include detailed plans to ensure that TANTRANSCO simultaneously completes all the associated projects in the transmission system for evacuation of power so that the power generated from the new plants can be transmitted without any bottlenecks and wastage.

On the distribution front, the plan should come up with measures to ensure that the power generated from the news plants reaches the consumption points by way of appropriate distribution networks.

Expressing its disappointment over the response of TANGEDCO towards such montoring mechanisms, the direction stated that the compliance on the issue must be ‘serious and without fail.’ It also directed TANGEDCO to file the tariff petition on time.


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Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission order creates panic in Mihan

NAGPUR: Panic has gripped industries in Mihan as Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has refused to recognize the power purchase agreement (PPA) between Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) and Abhijeet Power. The ruling came on technical grounds.

Now, Abhijeet can no longer sell power to MADC and Mihan industries legally. It is also not clear as to how Abhijeet will recover bills from them for the power supplied so far. Abhijeet had not raised any bills as MERC had not decided the tariff.

RB Goenka, who had represented Mihan Industries Association (MIA) in the Commission, said the order was a setback for the industries. “Now MADC can purchase power from exchanges in short term and take post facto permission from MERC. If it wants to buy power from Abhijeet it will have to do the same. The third option is the industries buy power from MSEDCL.”

Buying power from MSEDCL is the last resort for industries as its industrial tariff is close to Rs 7 per unit. State government had promised to supply power to them at Rs 2.97 per unit while Abhijeet wanted a rate of Rs 4.53 as generation cost had increased. Goenka said Mihan industries would appeal to state government to issue directives to MERC to review the order.


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India may overtake US in wind installations for first time

India may install more wind capacity than the US this year for the first time as a tax-benefit window extending to 2015 prompts US developers to delay setting up new projects.

India is forecast to put up 2,050 megawatts of wind capacity in 2013, compared with the 2,000 MW expected in the US, according to the latest figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance due to be published next week.
“The decline in the US is mainly due to the complacency of the project developers, which can claim federal tax benefits through 2015,” said Shantanu Jaiswal, a New Delhi-based BNEF wind analyst.
While all major wind markets, including China, are expected to slow this year, the US is set to experience the sharpest decline with annual installations plunging 85%. “India’s lead could be short-lived with US installations expected to surge again starting 2014,” Jaiswal said.
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BEST float tender for renewable energy after MERC directive on RPO

Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport  Undertaking (BEST), a distribution licensee supplying  electricity to the Mumbai City, intends to procure  power from Renewable Energy (RE) Sources to meet  their Renewable Purchase Obligation as per MERC
(Renewable Purchase Obligation, its compliance and  Implementation of REC framework)Regulations, 2010.BEST Undertaking intends to purchase total 408MUs  of Non-Solar RE from various RE sources for FY 2013-14.

Only Grid connected RE generation projects are eligible  to meet the RPS Obligation of the distribution licensees. Criteria for bids: Hon’ble MERC vide its Order (suomotu) dated22/03/2013(Case No.6 of 2013)  has determined generic tariffs for various RE sources for
FY 2013-14. The tariff determined by MERC from time  to time will be applicable for eligible RE sources as per  their validity.

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The two day conference endeavours to deliberate on the pertinent issues of power sector in India whilst brainstorming their possible solutions. Key topics of the agenda include Power Generation capacity addition, Fuel Issues and viable solutions, Inter-state transmission lines, Green Energy Corridors, Global Smart grid initiatives, Viability Gap Funding, Discoms franchisee mechanism amongst few others. To register for last few seats left, please mail us at

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RIL counters Scindia claim on power plant idle due to KG-D6

Reliance Industries has countered Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia’s assertion that power plants were lying idle due to fall in KG-D6 gas supplies, saying most of these plants were built much before the field was even discovered.


RIL Executive Director P M S Prasad on August 24 wrote to Scindia saying none of the 31 power plants that he had stated as being dependent on gas supplies from RIL, were “installed or financed on the basis of supply of KG-D6 gas”.

“All records available (based on publicly available information) reveal that almost all of these plants came up and were financed by lending institutions, based on specific alternative allocations/supply sources much before the KG-D6 block had even acquired a development plan,” he wrote.

These plants, he said, were built on promise of gas from ONGC, Cairn, GSPC-Niko or BG-operated PMT fields.

“In most cases, the stipulated gas supplies not materialising or other fuels being found to be too expensive, allocations of KG-D6 gas were made by way of substitution in 2008,” Prasad wrote attaching list of power plants, their date of commissioning and the stated source of fuel.

Scindia had on August 22 told Lok Sabha that 31 power plants of 14,028 MW capacity were dependent on KG-D6 gas. Of these, 12 plants with generation capacity of 2,978.62 MW were solely dependent on gas supplies from RIL’S KG-D6 fields and are lying idle.

With water and sand ingress shutting down half of wells on KG-D6 fields, gas production has dropped dramatically and power plants, which are third in priority list for receipt of gas, are not being supplied any fuel since March.

Prasad said of the 31 power plants mentioned by Scindia, 20 with combined capacity of 9,100 MW had been commissioned even before RIL gas discovery in KG-D6 block in 2002. Another 300 MW got commissioned in 2003.

Further out of the remaining 4,600 MW, 3,800 MW was installed or was under construction before 2005. “All these plants had allocations as well as specific fuel supply agreements on the basis of APM gas, gas from domestic sources other than KG-D6 or LNG,” he said.

RIL had barely begun to invest in developing the D1&D3 gas fields in KG-D6 block in 2005 and so out of 14,028 MW mentioned by Scindia to be dependent on KG-D6 gas, 13,200 MW were either already installed or under construction before that, he said


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Clean technology startups help large cos cut down power use and expenses

HYDERABAD: Several clean technology startups offering innovative ways to conserve electricity are signing marquee clients who are eager to trim their power bills and, in turn, receiving greater attention from venture capitalists.

“Everybody wants to cut down energy costs today,” said Sekhar Nori, founder of five-year-old startup Skyshade Technologies, which has bagged a slew of large customers, including Mahindra & Mahindra, PepsiCo, ITC and TVS.

The Hyderabad-based company’s Light Pipe takes sunlight to dark and remote areas. The product helps companies bring down power bills by over a fifth, according to Nori, who expects revenue to more than double in the next two years to .`25 crore.

Experts said rising demand for utilities, such as power and water, is creating a huge opportunity for such young ventures. “These solutions will fit well in the gap between demand and supply,” said Abhishek Vastava, an investment manager at the Ventureast Tenet fund that has so far invested over $30 million in clean technology startups in India, including low-cost ATM maker Vortex and Bharat Lighting & Power.

Food and beverage maker PepsiCo, which aims to reduce fossil fuel use, is turning to renewable energy and energy efficiency products from startups.

“Our energy use per unit of production has decreased by 17.7%,” said Vivek Bharati, executive director of agriculture and corporate affairs in PepsiCo India.

Viswanath Attaluri, chief operating officer at consultancy Capital Fortunes, estimates the energy efficiency market to grow 10% annually.

Sensing this demand, Dileep Patel, a real estate entrepreneur in Mumbai, turned to the clean technology sector. He co-founded EcoPower along with son Siddharth. The six year-old company, which has customers like Larsen & Toubro and Reliance industries, expects to earn revenue of .`4 crore in the next fiscal.

Sateesh Andra, a managing partner at Ventureeast, said the market for clean technology solutions is still nascent with a lot of headroom for growth. In Hyderabad, Vivek Subramanian, co-founder of Fourth Partner Energy, is building solar energy solutions. He teamed up with other co0founders—Vikas Saluguti and Saif Dhorajiwala—to pool in seed capital of .`1 crore to set up the company that uses a pay-per-use model for the solar energy it generates.


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