Pooled tariff plan for NTPC can trim power bills: Kerala

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 11 2013, 08:51am hrs
Kerala has suggested adopting pooled tariff for NTPC's power plants in the country to make gas-generated electricity affordable for consumers in the state.

Currently, tariff is determined plant-wise for power major's generating stations.

The suggestion was made by Aryadan Muhammed, Kerala's minister for power and transport, in state power ministers' conference here on Tuesday.

In order to ensure that power from NTPC's gas-based stations is affordable, we suggest that a pooled cost for all NTPC stations in the country may be made applicable instead of the present method of fixing plant-wise tariff. Such pooled cost of power for NTPC will be contained in the vicinity of Rs 5 a unit, Muhammed said while addressing the conference.

In comparison, cost of liquified natural gas (LNG)-generated power works out to Rs 8 a unit.

While ecological conditions of the state are not conducive for setting up coal or lignite-fired power plants, upcoming hydropower plants, totalling 750 mw capacity, are held up for ecological reasons. Under these circumstances, natural gas remains the only feasible option before the state for electricity generation. But affordability of LNG-generated power is a major issue for household consumers.

Given the constraint of setting up power plants based on imported LNG in the state, the minister pushed for preferential allocation of required gas to fire the existing 1,600 mw gas-based generating capacity in the state, which is running on costly liquid fuels and hence lower capacity utilisation.

In the conference, state power sector issues like procurement of power under long-term contracts, progress in implementation of Centre-sponsored Rs 1.9 lakh debt recast scheme for state-owned discoms, compliance of renewable purchase obligations as well as measures to strengthen regulatory commissions were discussed.

The last power ministers' conference was held in February.