Riding on spike in electricity demand, the central sector thermal power producers made steady gains in their Plant Load Factor (PLF), operating at higher load than the state owned generation utilities and the private Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
At the end of December 2018, the PLF of central sector thermal plants was 73.27 per cent, eminently outdoing the performance of state owned plants (57.96 per cent) and private sector IPPs (53.38 per cent). The pan-India thermal PLF in December last year touched 60.48 per cent, improved from 58.72 per cent achieved in December 2017, data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) showed. An uptick in industrial demand also buoyed the load at thermal power stations.
“One of the reasons why central sector coal-based units could outperform the private players was the guaranteed long-term PPAs (power purchase agreements) and availability of coal linkages or captive coal sources. On both counts, private producers suffered- many of them were without long-term PPAs while disruption in coal supplies was a commonality”, said an industry source.
Nationwide, electricity generation during April-September of 2018 rose 4.74 per cent to 949.6 billion units (BU). Thermal power generation grew 4.94 per cent in this period from 767.4 BU to 805.3 BU.