BSES Kerala Power, the independent power producer being developed by distribution major BSES, plans to reopen the power purchase agreement and raise tariff to Rs 5.51-plus per unit from Rs 4.38.
If the proposal is accepted by the Kerala State Electricity Board, power from BSES Kerala will be the costliest in the country. The company proposes to increase both the pass-through and fixed charges.
Currently, it collects around Rs 3 as pass-through charges and Re 0.93 paise as fixed charges.
The revised proposal from BSES Kerala Power has come following the decision to add an additional 40 mw power to the present 120 mw, thus taking the generating capacity to 160 mw. The expenditure incurred for the purpose would be around Rs 200 crore, senior BSES officials said.
In addition, the cost of naphtha over the last year has shot up by around 200 per cent, leading to a jump in operating expenses. Both the factors have compelled the company to look at reworking tariff upwards by around Rs 1.13 per unit.
Company officials said that once the plant load factor (PLF) is fully utilised, there will be a reduction in the power tariff. But, the initial charges would cross Rs 5.51 per unit.
KSEB is understood to have reacted favourably to the revised tariff rate, though no official green signal has been received yet.
However, power industry officials say the Assembly elections in April 2001 would prevent the state government from taking any politically unpopular decisions. Even if the tariff is increased, it would take a minimum of 6-8 months to become effective.
BSES Kerala Power is a 70:30 joint venture between BSES Ltd and Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) and sells power mainly to the industrial consumers in Kochi suburbs.