Sri. V Ramesh babu, Deputy Chief Engineer represented KSEB in the hearing. He had reported that the present thermal surcharge is insufficient for meeting the revenue deficit. As requested by the commission, KSEB had already provided following details.
- Source wise actual Power purchase and generation & Cost from April to September 2008 .
- Latest reservoir position and proposed generation from hydel sources under different inflow scenario.
Energy sale & Revenue from different categories of consumers and actual surcharge billed are under compilation and shall be furnished to the commission as soon as it is ready.
The northeast monsoon so far too has been a disappointment. The storage in the reservoirs is worse than that in 2004, a severe drought year. The Central stations from where the State receives power are all running far below their capacity due to coal and lignite shortage. This means increased dependence on costly electricity from stations running on liquid fuels.
The KSEB said the ongoing restrictions in power supply and the 50-paise per unit thermal surcharge would help bridge only part of the huge difference between expenses and revenue. The net additional liability till the end of September came to Rs.347.50, notwithstanding the supply restrictions and the existing surcharge. KSEB requested the commission to makeup the deficit during this financial year itself.
Long-term average for October is inflow worth 920 million units of power. The inflow so far during the month has been 540 million units. In November, Kerala is expected to consume 44.92 million units of electricity. By March 2008, this is expected to climb to 52.78 MU. But during this period, the daily availability from the State’s hydel stations would range between 16 MU and 17.50 MU only. With the present trend of coal shortages, the anticipated availability from CGS for the remaining period is about 700 to 750MW, at an average daily energy availability of 17.00 MU per day. The rest would have to be met through the thermal stations and power purchase.
As on October 26, the storage in the State’s hydel reservoirs is 2821.75 MU. By May 31, the inflow to the reservoirs should be 1576.68 MU based on a 10-year average. But this is an ideal condition and the KSEB has provided the Commission with different inflow projections, that is, what the situation would be like if the inflow is less than expected. Earlier, the KSEB had appealed to the Commission to restrict supply to domestic consumers to 150 units a month. But the Commission had fixed it at 200 units, which deteriorated the situation.
Projecting the emerging situation, the KSEB said it would have to buy 10.72 million units of costly electricity from liquid fuel stations in addition to already permitted 3.37 million units on a daily basis (average) to keep the show going during the rest of the year if the existing supply restrictions were withdrawn. This means spending roughly Rs.8.2 crore additionally daily as the average cost of electricity purchase is between Rs. 8.20 to Rs.9.25. The liability would come down only partially if the present supply restrictions and thermal surcharge were continued.
While the Commission had allowed 20 percent power cut on LT consumers, bulk consumers such as Thrissur Corporation which purchase power from the KSEB and supply it to LT consumers were exempted. The Cochin Special Economic Zone, KINFRA and Technopark are a few of the exempted bulk consumers. But the Commission, in a letter dated October 15, did not allow the KSEB to extend the restrictions to LT consumers of bulk consumers of KSEB who avail themselves of power from the KSEB. The KSEB, in its plea, has pointed out that this may lead to discrimination among the same class of consumers and that of other licensees availing of power from the KSEB.
Regulatory commission Chairman C Balakrishnan, Members C Abdulla and Sri. MP Ayyappan attended the hearing. The commission will take final decision on demands after the public hearings in Thrissur(Chamber of Commerce Hall, Palace Road, November 5 from 10 a.m) and Palakkad (NMR Hall, near the Municipal Bus Stand, Palakkad, November 4 from 10 a.m) .