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Home News Power Sector News Adani power urges Gujarat government to bail out Mundra power plant

Adani power urges Gujarat government to bail out Mundra power plant

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MundraBillionaire Gautam Adani led-Adani Power has approached state-run Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam (GUVNL) to bail out its Mundra power plant, which stares at financial unviability after the Supreme Court in April quashed the company's plea for tariffs that would have compensated escalations in Indonesian coal costs.

Adani Power is hiving off its 4,600 mw-thermal power plant into a separate subsidiary, and is exploring all options for financial revival, including a potential sale of substantial stake in the new subsidiary. According to two industry executives, Adani is believed to have offered a substantial stake in the Mundra power plant to GUVNL, which is in a power purchase pact to source 2,000 mw from the unit.

"Consequent to the outcome of the Supreme Court judgement, we have engaged with the stakeholders, including GUVNL, for possible remedial measures for long-term sustainability of the Mundra Plant and various options are being explored presently," an Adani Power spokesperson told ET.

In response to a question on stake sale, the company said: "At this juncture, it would be premature to comment on the query raised by you on the likely sale of stake in the plant." ET made several attempts to reach out to the chairman of GUVNL, but could not get his response.

Adani Power's Mundra unit has power purchase agreements (PPAs) with the state agency to sell 2,000 mw, but it has gradually reduced supply by over 1,200 mw, citing the unviability of running the plant without the compensatory package.

One of these PPAs signed in 2007 requires Adani Power to supply 1,000 mw to GUVNL at a level rate of Rs 2.35 a unit for 25 years, which the company says is difficult without a compensatory package to absorb increase in Indonesian coal prices.

Adani Power has a total thermal power generation capacity of 10,440 mw, of which it directly owns and operates the 4,620 mw power plant at Mundra, while three other projects are operated through subsidiaries.

The company, along with Tata Power Company, received a big blow after the apex court ruled against the two companies getting a compensatory tariff, threatening the viability of the projects and potentially denting their overall earnings.

The two companies had sought higher price for the power they sell to state run-discoms to pass on the burden of increases in imported coal costs after the Indonesian government issued new regulations in 2011, raising the price of coal. The companies were in a prolonged battle with their consumers, the state discoms, for higher tariffs.

The blow was harder on Adani Power as it had booked revenue of Rs 9,000 crore on the likely compensatory tariff after the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) ruling in December 2016 that stated that both companies may claim higher tariff to compensate for increase in coal prices.

Companies such as Tata Power and Adani bagged these projects based on competitive bids and sector experts had raised concerns over their viability since the time of bidding, as they had not accounted for price-fluctuation risks on imported coal.

Fuel accounts for almost 70 per cent of the generation cost for a company.

While bidding, however, producers tend to quote lower charges for escalation in fuel prices to make their bids more competitive.

Source- ET

 

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