The Supreme Court has refused to allow a blanket extension of deadlines for installing emission reducing equipment to power plants which are in the corporate insolvency process. “We are not inclined to allow the prayer made in the application,” the apex court said while hearing an interlocutory application submitted by power producers seeking relaxed timelines for all plants. Given the uncertainty of ownership for stressed plants, power firms had sought the extension as they are finding it difficult to avail finance for these new equipment.
Power companies have been mandated to set up flue gas de-sulphurisation (FGD) units and electrostatic precipitators (ESP) to reduce environmental pollution. “The Court will now assess the requests for timeline extension on a case-to-case basis,” Ashok Khurana, director-general, Association of Power Producers, said. The sector is hardly in the best of health, with plants facing low capacity utilisation due to less-than-expected growth in demand.
As FE reported earlier, about 14,000 MW of power plants around the NCR have missed the first deadline of installing FGDs by December 2019. Another 26,330-MW power capacities are needed to set up FGD units in 2020, 64,268 MW in 2021 and 64,055 MW in 2022. CLP India’s 1,320 MW Jhajjar Power plant is the only station to have commissioned such equipment.