The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) is set to hear Bajaj Energy’s petition against the termination of power purchase agreements (PPAs) by Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation (UPPCL) on Thursday. Bajaj Energy, an associate company of Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar, which has five plants of 450 MW thermal power in Uttar Pradesh, had first filed a petition in this regard in the Allahabad High Court. But after prolonged arguments, the the Lucknow bench of the high court finally directed the company to file their petition before UPERC. Thereafter, Bajaj Energy filed a petition before the state power regulator on November 3, asking for interim relief and also for allowing their plants to run. The HC had directed the commission to dispose the interim relief application within a week, ie, by November 10, and the petition in two months.
Keeping in mind the HC’s directive, the commission fixed November 9 as the date of hearing. UPPCL had on July 8 this year served an exit notice to Bajaj in this regard, saying that the notice should be deemed as executed after 10 days of its issuance. On reviewing the PPAs, the newly formed BJP government had found that power being purchased from the five plants was as expensive as `7.63-8.28 per unit which was found to be 100.79-171.89% costlier than the `3.80 per unit average cost being spent by UPPCL on purchase of power. In its PPA termination notice to Bajaj, UPPCL said the UP government is agreement-bound to provide round-the-clock affordable electricity to all consumers and this was not possible if it continued to buy expensive power.
In one of the notices served to Bajaj’s Barkhera thermal plant, UPPCL says: “By signing the power for all (PFA) document, the Central and UP governments have placed themselves under an agreement to provide 24X7 power all consumers. To make this possible, the key action point under the PFA is to bring down the UPPCL’s power purchase cost that constitutes 80% its overall expenses.” In the same notice, it has been pointed out that UPPCL purchased 354.52 million units of power from this plant during 2016-17 for `8.04 per unit which was among the highest and around 111.58% higher as compared to average power purchase cost of `3.80 per unit.