Power trading: Gridco opposes OERC order

Written by Dilip Bisoi | Bhubaneswar, Jul 30 | Updated: Jul 31 2008, 06:47am hrs
The Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission's (OERC) order allowing Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU), the power distribution company operating in the central zone of the state, to power trading has created a controversy. The state-owned Gridco, which is the sole bulk supplier of power, has expressed its strong objection.

Sources in Gridco said the OERC order would create chaos in power market. Gridco makes a pool of power from thermal and hydel sources and sell it to the distribution companies. Now, Gridco would not be able to meet the state's demand in adverse conditions like power failure, sourced said.

While Gridco is poised to make a turnaround this fiscal after a long struggle to wipe out the huge accumulated losses, the OERC order would again put the company in red, sources said.

The OERC, however, has allayed the fear saying that during power crisis both Gridco and CESU would meet the demand of the state first. Gridco would rather be benefitted from the order, said OERC sources, adding that the commission has directed the CESU to use the proceeds from liquidation of the Gridco liabilites. The OERC has directed CESU to clear Rs 112 crore out of the total Gridco outstanding of Rs 2000 crore in 2008-09, sources said.

Meanwhile, CESU has made a buy back arrangement with NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd, a subsidiary of NTPC Ltd, for trading of power outside Orissa. It has also entered into an agreement with IFFCO, which has a DAP fertiliser plant in Paradip, for purcahse of surplus power from its captive power plant at Rs 3.01 per unit. The CESU will source only 5mw according to the agreement even as the capacity of the plant is 50mw.