PTC aims to trade 1500 MUs by March-end

Mumbai, January 27: | Updated: Jan 28 2002, 05:30am hrs
The state-run Power Trading Corporation (PTC), which had attained break-even in November last year and expects to make net profit during 2001-02 fiscal, is quite optimistic that its turnover would rise by 30 times over the previous year.

PTC, which is currently trading power of 450 mw worth Rs 45 crore per month, is of the view that the trading potential would double for the fiscal 2002-03 compared to 2001-02.

PTC chairman and managing director TN Thakur in an e-mail interview told The Financial Express that by the end of March 2002, PTC is expected to trade 1,500 million units (MUs) and the expected revenues would be to the tune of Rs 350 crore. Of the 1,500 MUs target, PTC had already traded 946 MUs from June to December 2001. PTC traded power by targeting the surplus power of state power utilities and independent power producers. In 1999-00 and 2000-01, PTC traded 28.35 MUs and 43.77 MUs respectively.

However, Mr Thakur said that there was limited flexibility for diverting power from one region to another in the absence of adequate inter-regional power connectors and weaknesses in the downstream transmission system.

"PTC is interacting with PowerGrid to make transmission facilities available for evacuation of mega and other large projects whose power PTC would trade and also for strengthening/construction of lines to facilitate trading," Mr Thakur said. He pointed out that capacity of eastern region (ER)-northern region (NR) interconnection need immediate augmentation for evacuation of ER surplus power.

PowerGrid was making concerted efforts to commission 500 MW Biharsharif-Sasaram HVDC link. "What needs to be done as a short term measure is to strengthen the down stream transmission networks to better utilise the existing Inter-regional transmission capacity. Capacitors installation needs to be accelerated to improve reactive power management. Minor strengthening of systems near inter-regional interconnections would immediately help in exchange of more power," he opined.

Mr Thakur said that many states of Eastern and North-Eastern region have approached PTC for selling their surplus power, whereas some deficit states in Southern, Western and Northern region for buying power.

"PTC’s present transaction charges is below five paise/kWh which amounts to around 2 per cent of the billed amount," he noted.

Mr Thakur said that the present level of inter-regional exchange was still quite limited and the constraints for enhancing the same included inadequate transmission capacity, lack of proper market mechanism (absence of tariff structure to promote merit order operation and encourage trading of power), lack of statutory provisions for direct sale by independent power producers (IPPs)/captive power projects (CPP)/ licensee outside the state, grid indiscipline and financial viability of state electricity boards (SEBs) among others. "However, it is encouraging that people in the Indian power sector (states included) have started appreciating value addition by PTC and the need for a power market in this country," he added.

According to PTC sources, the volume of trade was expected to reach a level of 76,000 MUs in 2009-10 from the present level of 2,900 MUs. PTC’s proposal for providing a payment security for such level of transactions awaits the government of India approval.