WBSEB Negotiates With PTC For Peak Time Power Import

Kolkata, Feb 25: | Updated: Feb 26 2004, 05:30am hrs
The West Bengal State Electricity Board (WBSEB) is negotiating with Power Trading Corp (PTC) for importing power during peak hours, according to PTCs chairman and managing director Tantra Narayan Thakur.

Although the state has surplus power during off-peak period and the WBSEB exports around 500mw, it suffers around 200mw shortage during the peak hours. As a result, WBSEB has to shed loads in various parts of the state.

"We are looking for sources to supply power to the WBSEB during peak hours," Mr Thakur told FE on the sidelines of PTCs forthcoming public issue.

PTC has been promoted by four major public sector power companies -- Power Grid Corp of India, National Thermal Power Corp, Power Finance Corp and National Hydroelectric Power Corp -- who together hold 32 per cent stake in the company or eight per cent each.

"We have to do something for West Bengal. After all, the state was the first to supply power to PTC when we started power trading in 2001," he added.

Then, West Bengal Power Development Corp Ltd (WBPDCL) supplied 160mw to PTC which was sold to Haryana and Rajasthan.

Later, WBPDCL was debarred from selling and now it is sold by the WBSEB.

Sources said that PTC is likely to supply to the WBSEB from the neighbouring countries. A senior director of the company has been entrusted with the job.

PTC is the nodal agency for cross-border power exchange with Nepal and Bhutan. It is already purchasing surplus power from 336mw Chukha project and 60mw Kurichhu project, both in Bhutan and sells to WBSEB, Damodar Valley Corp and the Eastern Regional Electricity Board.

The 1,020-mw Tala project in Bhutan will be commissioned by mid-2005 and 144mw Kaligandaki project has been partially commissioned.

"We hope that we would be able to settle the issue of selling power to the WBSEB during the peak hours shortly," Mr Thakur said.