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Home News Power Sector News APTEL sets aside CERC compensatory tariff order for Tata and Adani

APTEL sets aside CERC compensatory tariff order for Tata and Adani

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Tata PowerAppellate Tribunal for Electricity has set aside electricity regulator CERC's order for granting compensation for increase in fuel costs to projects won through competitive bidding. Reacting to the decision, shares of Tata Power dropped 3.83 per cent while Adani Power lost 2.92 per cent on the BSE.

"The Central Commission has no regulatory powers under Section 79(1)(b) of the said Act (Electricity Act, 2003) to vary or modify the tariff or otherwise grant compensatory tariff to the generating companies in case of a tariff determined under a tariff-based competitive bid process...," APTEL said in an order.

"In view of this...The impugned Order dated February 21, 2014 is hereby set aside," it said.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Authority (CERC) in its order on February 21, 2014, had granted nearly Rs 830 crore compensation for Adani Power's 4,620 MW Mundra plant in Gujarat for making up for losses incurred by the project due to higher cost of imported Indonesian coal.

Similarly, the CERC had allowed higher tariff as well as compensation of Rs 329.45 crore for Tata Power's 4,000 MW Mundra project to compensate for increase in the price of imported coal.

Meanwhile, Tata Power in a statement said, "Order dated April 15, 2013 and February 21, 2014 passed by CERC were set aside and the matter was remanded back to the CERC to consider the relief to be granted to CGPL for force majeure event. CERC has also been directed to conclude the said exercise expeditiously within a period of three months from today."

The company also observed from APTEL order that "promulgation of Indonesian Regulation qualified as force majeure but relief can be granted as per Power Purchase Agreement."

In case of Adani Power, the CERC has said that Gujarat has to pay Rs 420.24 crore, while Haryana has to shell out Rs 409.51 crore as compensation from the commissioning date till March 31, 2013.

For the Mundra plant, Adani Power has inked two power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Gujarat - each for 1,000 MW - and PPAs with two Haryana utilities for total capacity of 1,424 MW. Rest of the electricity generated from the plant is sold on merchant basis.

The CERC had allowed higher tariff as well as compensation of Rs 329.45 crore for Tata Power's 4,000 MW Mundra project to compensate for increase in the price of imported coal.

CERC had directed 5 states that procure electricity from the Mundra plant to pay a compensation of Rs Rs 329.45 crore for the period from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013.

Electricity from Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project is supplied to Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab. It has been facing challenges following rise in the price of Indonesian coal, which is used to fire the plant.

Electricity from Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project is supplied to Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab. It has been facing challenges following rise in the price of Indonesian coal, which is used to fire the plant.
(REOPENS DCM 88)

Commenting on the order, rating agency ICRA said, "The order by APTEL acknowledging tariff compensation issue is a positive development for concerned Gencos as it gives a direction to CERC to settle the same in a time-bound manner."

However, it said, "The quantum of benefits flowing to these generators cannot be ascertained at the moment given that CERC would have to determine the mechanism for ascertaining the tariff compensation to be paid. Further, delays in payment of the same, given the possibility of further appeal by impacted off-takers, cannot be ruled out."

"ICRA estimates that around 20 GW of capacity in the Indian power sector is impacted by issue of under recoveries in tariff/fuel charges," said Sr VP, Co-head corporate Sector rating, ICRA Ltd Sabyasachi Majumdar.

It further said that while there have been directives by CERC/SERCs for resolution of such issues, the overall progress in resolution of tariff compensation even under change in law has remained slow.

ICRA said that in this order, the APTEL has acknowledged that regulations in Indonesia had affected the economics of the PPAs entered into by APL and CGPL.

This and the non-availability/short supply of coal from domestic sources are being considered as a force majeure event for APL (Adani Power Ltd).

The APTEL directed CERC to assess the extent of impact of force majeure event on the projects of APL and CGPL and provide them relief.

Source- Business standard

 

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