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Home News Power Sector News Merchant producers make huge profits in power crisis

Merchant producers make huge profits in power crisis

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Jindal PowerThe ongoing power crisis has opened a windfall opportunity for a section of merchant power producers having access to domestic captive sources. The opportunity is maximised as unlike in the past, the central regulator is not contemplating putting a cap on the merchant tariff. Merchant tariffs touched Rs 12 on October 1, averaged around Rs 9 last week before coming down slightly to around Rs 8 this week. In a significant change in trading pattern from the past - when tariffs used to peak at specific periods of the day - sustained buying support kept the tariffs high all through the day this season.

In September 2009, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) had imposed a cap of Rs 8 a unit on power trade for 45 days. Hearing a petition filed by state utilities in West Bengal and CESC Ltd, the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity had also upheld the eligibility of the central regulator in fixing such ceilings.

"We have had a debate on the issue. There is a real shortage of electricity in the country leading to panic buying as buyers are competing against each other thereby pushing up the tariff," CERC Chairman, Mr Pramod Deo, told Business Line. He had ruled out the possibility of any tariff restriction at this juncture.

Meanwhile, Mr R.S. Sharma, Managing Director, Jindal Power, confirmed that banking on its captive coal sources the company's 1,000 MW (4X 250 MW) power plant at Raigarh in Chhattishgarh is reaping maximum benefit from the current power crisis. "With adequate availability of coal as well as control over its prices, we are comfortably placed to optimise market opportunities," Mr Sharma said.

However, all merchant producers are not suitably placed to reap the dividends. While comments were not available from Adani Power, sources said the company's plant at Mundra in Gujarat was not operating at optimal capacity due to "transmission bottleneck". The third 660 MWunit which was synchronised in September was yet to operate at full load.

Source- Hindu


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