JSW Energy today reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 310.51 crore in the third quarter against a net loss of Rs 82.7 crore in the same period a year ago on account of higher generation, better tariff realisation and lower fuel cost.
During the quarter ended December 31, the energy arm of JSW Group suffered a net foreign exchange loss of Rs 61 crore due to rupee depreciation.
"The performance has improved mainly on the back of an increase in generation and better tariff realisation. Besides, the coal prices have dropped, improving our profitability," JSW Energy Vice-Chairman N K Jain told reporters here.
The operational performance during the quarter saw improvement on the back of improved operations of the Barmer unit in Rajasthan while the Vijayanagar and Ratnagiri plants continued to maintain high availability.
The company achieved the highest quarterly net generation of 4,770 million units, despite intermittent backing down of some units during the period, he said.
The average plant load factor (PLF) stood at 91.34 per cent as against 82.30 per cent a year ago.
During the October-December period, the company sold 2,616 million units under merchant sales at an average realisation of Rs 4.25-4.50 per unit. It also generated 221 million units.
"We do not expect much improvement in merchant tariff until there is some clearance on the policy front. We expect the merchant rates to be at the same levels even in the fourth quarter.
"Going forward, we have decided to relook at our portfolio and focus on long-term agreements than merchant sales," Naik said, adding the fuel cost during Q3 was Rs 1,047 crore, down 2 per cent over the same period previous year.
"Though the fuel prices have stabilised to some extent, the rupee continued to remain under pressure against the dollar, containing the gains due to fall in international coal prices. We will continue to optimise the blending mix of different categories of coal as well as identify new sources of coal aimed at reducing the fuel costs," Naik added.
He said due to uncertainty on coal supply and tariff prices, JSW Energy has put on hold its thermal projects.
"We are, however, going ahead with the 240 MW Rs 2,000 crore hydro power project in Himachal Pradesh. We have also received forest clearance for the project, but for the time being we have put our thermal projects on hold."
The company has an operational capacity of 2,600 MW apart from 540 MW of generating capacity under commissioning.
Meanwhile, the company has suspended operations of its wholly-owned overseas subsidiary South African Coal Mining Holding and is exploring various alternative business options to effectively utilise the assets and concessions.