Poor demand, fuel shortage cost NTPC Rs 6,600 crore

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SummarySlowdown in power demand by state utilities and fuel shortages have begun to hurt country's largest power producer.

electricity to consumers.

Of course, NTPC does not suffer any real loss in actual terms due to generation slippages. But it has all the wherewithal to produce more had the demand been there and optimum capacity use would have positively impacted its bottom line.

The generation loss in current fiscal up to November has meant that 5,000 MW equivalent of NTPC capacity has remained unused.

The company, which on an average generates about 250 BU of electricity annually, produced 148 BU in the current fiscal year (up to November 29) against generation of 149 BU in the corresponding period of last fiscal.

Lower demand and rise in imported fuel cost has already dented NTPC's profitability with the company reporting a year-on-year 21% drop in net profit to Rs 2,493 crore in the July-September quarter of current fiscal. Net revenue (from electricity sales) during the period also increased marginally by 0.94% to Rs 16,272 crore from Rs 16,120 crore in the year-ago period. Profit before interest and tax from generation activities dipped a little over 12% to Rs 3,570 crore during the quarter, indicating that Plant Availability Factor (PAF) took a hit during the quarter.

UP and Tamil Nadu have been the main culprits when it comes to not meeting electricity demand due to poor financial condition of their respective state electricity boards.

While NTPC power is under the PPA route where tariffs are lower, demand for electricity has fallen in a few states as good monsoon has stepped up generation from their hydro projects and also good weather conditions have impacted demand.

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