NTPC withdraws regulation of power
In a temporary relief, cash-starved Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation (UPPCL) received a loan of Rs 4,900 crore late on Thursday night from the two state-run power sector lenders Power Finance Corporation and REC. The amount was immediately used to partially clear the dues of generating companies (gencos), whose dues were running over 45 days. Among those whose dues were cleared were state generating giant NTPC, PGCIL, independent private power producers as well as cogenerating units run by sugar mills.
While Rs 1,100 crore were given to NTPC, Rs 1,045 crore were given to Bajaj group generating company Lalitpur Power Generation company. Rs 350 crore were given to PGCIL, while NHPC was given Rs 100 crore. Apart from this, Rs 300 crore were used to pay off the entire dues of the sugar cogen units.
Following the payment, State-run power generating company NTPC, which had snapped 275 MW power from Uttar Pradesh from August 20 for not clearing dues that had been outstanding for more than 45 days, withdrew its notice regulating power supply to Uttar Pradesh. In a communication to the chairman of UPPCL — M Devraj, the regional executive director (North) Debashis Sen stated that in view of the commitments made by UPPCL and subsequent payments, the notice for regulation of power has been withdrawn with immediate effect.
Speaking to FE, M Devraj confirmed the payments made to the gencos and stated that while this is a temporary relief, the real challenge is to increase the revenue collection. “However, taking loans is no solution. The real issue is to increase revenue collection. We are trying to follow it up by introducing energy auditing, through which we will have feeder metering.
Online monitoring of energy consumption will ensure accountability. Right from billing to collection to supply, everything will be monitored online,” he said, adding that the ultimate solution would be the pre-paid smart metre programme recently announced by the Government of India. “The central scheme will be a boon for us and it will automatically take care of all the problems relating to revenue,” he added.
The Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation had been looking forward to the disbursement of Rs 4,900 crore from PFC-REC to clear the outstanding dues of more than 45 days of central generating stations (CGS), independent power producers (IPPs) and renewable energy (RE) generators.
As on July 31, 2021, UPPCL’s pending dues to gencos had risen to Rs 24,461 crore, of which dues of CGS account for Rs 4,270 crore, while that of IPPs are to the tune of Rs 4,675 crore. Dues payable to RE generators are Rs 388 crore, while those of state generating stations are Rs 15,128 crore.