Railways proposes energy firm to cut power bill by 10%

Written by Rajat Arora | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 9 2013, 07:09am hrs
As Indian railways accelerates the process of electrification of its rail tracks and begins work on the 100% electrified 3,300-km-long dedicated freight corridors, its power consumption is all set to increase by 30% by 2016-17.

To neutralise the affect of an increased power consumption, along with the increase in power tariffs on its fuel bill, Railways, a bulk consumer of energy, has proposed to set up a Railway Energy Management Company (REMC) shortly to bring efficiency in energy consumption and help in power purchases. REMC is expected to cut the railways' electricity bill by 10%.

The company will do necessary research in the area of energy conservation and is expected to reduce the railway power bill by at least 10% in coming years, said Kulbhushan, member-electrical, railway board.

At present, the total fuel bill of railways is around Rs 20,000 crore (Rs 12,500 crore for diesel and Rs 7,500 crore for electricity). The railways is expecting an increase of Rs 1, 500 crore in its electricity bill next year due to revision of power tariff, which will take its electricity bill to Rs 9,000 crore. The company would be formed with 51% equity by RITES and 49% by Railways, said Kulbhushan. The formation of RENC was announced in the Rail Budget by rail minsiter Pawan Bansal on Tuesday.

At present, close to 65% of freight and 50% of passenger traffic is carried using electronic locomotives. With 3,300-km 100% electrified dedicated freight corridors coming into existence by 2017, the share of freight pulled by electronic locomotives is going to rise further. The railway uses about 12 billion units of electricity a year. To promote green energy, simultaneously reducing its dependence on state electricity boards, railways have also proposed to build wind power generation capacity of 75 MW and use solar power at 1,000 level crossings across the country.