State-owned hydro power major NHPC plans to become a 10-Gw company by 2022. The company has planned a capex of Rs 3,800 crore for the next financial year.
Currently, NHPC operates 7 Gw of hydro power units. It recently acquired the stressed hydro power unit of Lanco in Sikkim. Company executives said they were also eyeing the stressed unit of JAL Power in Sikkim.
In the current financial year, it had a capex realisation of 70 per cent against the capex of Rs 2,577 crore. In FY20, it plans to construct 200 Mw of greenfield units. Recently, NHPC received nod of the Cabinet to take over Lanco’s Teesta-VI (500 Mw) hydro power unit in Sikkim. The investment sanction is at an estimated cost of Rs 5,748 crore. “The project would be completed in five years. The cost is close to Rs 11 crore per MW but due to abundant water, the tariff would turn out to be Rs 4.7 per unit,” said Balraj Joshi, chairman and managing director of NHPC. He said three states — Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand — have given their in-principle approval for buying power from Teesta-VI.
Joshi said the company is looking at more stressed hydro units but only through the NCLT route. “JAL Power’s project in Sikkim is one such project we have evaluated. It is yet to reach NCLT. We would like to bid for it when the expression of interest is issued by the insolvency professional,” Joshi said.
Moreover, NHPC would also be an aggregator for buying power from stressed units and sell it to states. This arrangement would be for three years for the units which have coal supply but not power purchase agreements with any state. The company would procure 2,500 Mw from stressed units and reach out to states to buy it. This is the second phase of the pilot scheme by the power ministry to revive stressed units. In the first phase, PTC India was the aggregator.
“As an aggregator, NHPC will get trading margins from power distribution companies. We would also give 2 per cent discount to discoms that pay on time and there will be a 2 per cent surcharge for those who pay late,” said Joshi. The scheme would entail electricity transaction of 18,615 million units at 85 per cent operating ratio for 2,500 Mw and turnover of more than Rs 7,000 crore (nearly) yearly, NHPC added.
Last week, the Cabinet approved budgetary support for allied infrastructure of hydro power units such as roads and bridges, in order to contain the escalating cost. This would be limited to Rs 1.5 crore per Mw for up to 200 Mw projects and Rs 1 crore per Mw for above 200 Mw projects.
NHPC said the new units of the company would benefit from the Cabinet decision. This includes the Kiru project (624 MW) and Ratle (850 MW) in Jammu & Kashmir that also received Cabinet nod last week.