West Bengal apprehending a power crunch beginning June this year has floated tenders, seeking to procure 300 Mw power from other states. Gridco, the Odisha government controlled bulk power buyer and trader is ready to participate in the tenders. The supply commitment begins in June.
“West Bengal is no longer the power surplus state it used to be. But Odisha’s position is quite robust even during peak summer when power demand climbs up. The tenders invited by West Bengal’s power distribution utility offers Gridco an opportunity to sell its surplus power”, said an official close to the development.
The glut in Odisha’s thermal power availability springs from two 660 Mw super critical units of Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) going on stream. OPGC, a joint venture of the state government with US-based AES where the latter holds 49 per cent stake, saw its Phase-II capacity of 1320 Mw commissioned recently. An investment of Rs 15,000 crore has sunk in to make the two new super critical units commercially running. OPGC had an initial capacity of 210 Mw at its Ib valley plant, near Jharsuguda.
Both the expanded units of OPGC will be fed into the Odisha grid as per a power purchase agreement (PPA) tied up earlier.
Gridco procures power from an array of generating sources- thermal generating stations inside the state as well as from central sector plants like NTPC Ltd. Battling stressed finances; one of Gridco’s turnaround strategies suggested by leading consultancy Feedback Infra was to source and aggregate power and sell to deficient states to bolster its margins. Gridco also buys a certain percentage of its power from the renewable sources to fulfil its green power obligations.
In 2019-20, Gridco has availability of power from sources like state hydro stations, state dedicated thermal stations, central thermal power generating stations, central hydro generating stations and renewable sources, among others.