Imported coal-based power plants will have to wait longer for higher rate. The Central Electricity Regulatory Comm-ission (CERC) on Thursday deferred its decision on two separate pleas, by Tata Power Co Ltd and Adani Power Ltd, seeking rise in rate of power supplied by their imported coal-based mega projects at Mundra in Gujarat.
While regulatory changes in coal exporting nations have made coal dearer for these plants leading to jacking up of generation cost, their buyers have refused to bear higher charges. “The commission today heard the maintainability of the two petitions. Tata Power was asked to come again with the comments of the beneficiary states (buyers) in a fresh petition in one-and-a-half months. Adani Power has also been asked to come again in four weeks with additional inputs,” a senior official from CERC told Business Standard.
Tata Power’s 4,000-Mw Mundra project was the country’s first ultra mega power project (UMPP) to go on stream. The Rs 17,000 crore project is being implemented with 75 per cent debt component by its subsidiary Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd (CGPL). First 800-Mw unit of the project was commissioned in March this year.
Fuel for the plant is being sourced largely from Indonesia where Tata Power bought a 30 per cent stake in two coal mines from PT Bumi Resources for $1.1 billion in 2007. That nation’s government has now linked coal exports to international benchmarks.
Tata Power had earlier signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) for supply of power from the Mundra UMPP at Rs 2.2 per unit to Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan. “The Commission has suggested that the concerned parties, procurers and CGPL should meet immediately in order to explore a possibility of a specific solution. The Commission has kept the petition pending and has asked the parties to report on the outcome for it to decide on further course of action,” Tata Power said in a statement.
An Adani Power spokesperson, however, said the company’s 4,620-Mw plant has been facing the double whammy of rising cost of imported fuel and the depreciating rupee. “Our cost of generation has doubled to Rs 2 per unit in the past one year,” the official said.