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Shut five power units in Delhi: BSES to govt

Manu Balachandran  |  New Delhi 

BSES, power distribution company of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group (ADAG), has suggested the government close five of its five power generation units in Delhi, shifting their fuel allocation to two other state-owned and newer power plants. It says the move would bring down retail electricity costs by five to seven per cent.

In a letter to the Delhi government’s chief secretary, BSES said there would also be additional generation of 820 million units of power a year by shutting the old and relatively inefficient state-run units. This and the reduction in costs would mean savings of Rs 770 crore.

BSES owns two of the three power distribution companies in Delhi. The third is a subsidiary of Tata Power.

“The costs of state generating stations have shown a dramatic increase in recent years, with costs rising from Rs 3.43 per KwH in 2010-11 to Rs 5.09 a KwH in 2012-13, an increase of 25 per cent. They are currently at Rs 5.99 per Kwh,” BSES’ letter said.

It suggested the government close the three units of NTPC at Badarpur, the Rajghat Power House and gas turbine stations of Indraprastha Generation. All these units are more than 25 years old. “We had sought the government’s permission to upgrade the Badarpur plant but they want switch-over to gas-based generation, since they do not want coal-based power generation in Delhi. But gas is in short supply,” said a senior NTPC executive.

BSES suggests a shift in the old plants’ fuel allocations to the newer ones at Aravali/Bawana, also in the city and government-owned. “(This) will result in much higher generation and at much lower rates and ensure stability of power availability. On the other hand, Aravali/Bawana plants suffer from inadequate coal and gas allocation and are, thus, not able to run to full potential,” says the BSES letter. BSES suggests the city government ask the Union power ministry to close the old units and shift their fuel linkages to Aravali/Bawana.

Some months earlier, when the Delhi government was briefly run by Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi party, it had threatened to cancel the licence of BSES if the company did not improve its services, and sought an audit into their financial books over allegations of profiteering.

  • The move to source power from the existing coal- based power plants will help in generation of 820 Mu of power and bring down tariffs by 5-7%
  • This will bring in savings of Rs 770 crore
  • The total savings in fixed costs will amount of Rs 413 crore and Rs 357 crore in variable cost

First Published: Fri, April 25 2014. 00:50 IST