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Aperc selects 4 gas-based power plants to run on LNG

BS Reporter  |  Chennai/ Hyderabad 

The Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (Aperc) has selected four gas-based power plants to make use of their idle capacity for generating additional power using liquified natural gas (LNG) under the expensive power supply scheme (EPSS) proposed by the discoms.

The EPSS is meant to supply electricity to the willing consumers, mostly from the industrial sector, beyond the existing supply restrictions at the rates outside the normal tariff.

Endorsing the discoms’ move, Aperc has issued draft guidelines for the same, besides asking the power utilities to procure power only from GVK Extension (220 Mw) of the GVK group, Gautami project (464 Mw) owned by NCC Infra Limited, Vemagiri power (370 Mw) owned by the GMR group and Konaseema project (444.08 Mw) owned by Konaseema Gas Power Limited.

The state government had earlier told the industry associations that it would ask the gas power companies to run their plants on LNG, provided the industries buy power at a rate that includes the cost of this expensive fuel. With the power situation expected to aggravate further in the next summer, many industries are willing to tap the EPSS scheme.

While all the gas power projects, including the other plants owned by GMR and GVK, in the state are running at less than 50 per cent plant load factor (PLF), the electricity regulator has selected only the above four plants citing the low station heat rate (SHR) at 1,850 kCal per unit level at which they operate, compared to the SHR of 2,000 kCal by other plants. This, the regulator said, will result in reduced variable cost benefiting the consumer.

However, a representative of a private power company said that some of the older plants with lower fixed cost component would also qualify for supplying power under the EPSS scheme in spite of the higher SHR. The regulator has invited the consumers and other stakeholders to submit their opinions on these draft guidelines by December 31,2012.

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First Published: Thu, December 27 2012. 00:55 IST