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Bengaluru, November 25, 2015: Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy said that energy efficiency is one of the biggest achievements of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi led government. While delivering the keynote address at 95th Annual event of ASSOCHAM here today, Shri Goyal informed that targets of renewable energy has been scaled up to five times and at present provides opportunity for $110 bn investments. The Minister said, “We are not only going to achieve RE targets by 2022, but we are going to achieve it with grid parity”.

Talking about the functioning of Government, Shri Piyush Goyal said that it is focusing its efforts to bring structural improvements in the country. We are working towards socio- economic transformation of the nation through holistic development of its citizens. The Minister said that focusing on principles of good governance will take India to a golden age of sustainable development rather than shortcut measures.

Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire) 

 
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Bankers’ group recommends to Govt

New Delhi, December 2014

The working group of bankers, examining the issues faced by the power sector, has recommended that stressed loan accounts of the industry should not be downgraded till September 31, 2015.

The Group, in its report, has said that since it will take time to consider and implement all the proposals, for now, the Government could consider asking the banks not to term these as non-performing assets and continue with their same classifications.

The Group, headed by Santosh Nayar, Chairman and Managing Director, IIFCL, has made suggestions to ease the burden on such stressed assets based on the issues raised by the Association of Power Producers.

Some of the key recommendations include allowing the holding company to raise money via external commercial borrowings or foreign currency convertible bonds for investment into the special purpose vehicle for the project, shifting of competitively bid projects to regulated tariff scheme and allowing banks to fund cost over-runs of projects.

For the stressed gas-based assets, the Group recommended that lenders may re-examine viability of such projects on a case-to-case basis for a possible financial package.

Discoms rapped

Coming down hard on state electricity distribution companies (discoms), the Working Group advised lenders to be cautious on lending to such discoms and suggested linking additional funding with implementation of Financial Restructuring Package (FRP) terms.

The Group also asked the Ministry of Power to call a meeting of discoms, Ministry of Finance and lenders and ensure FRP terms were adhered to.

Some of the suggestions which would require a lenient regulatory dispensation include provision of fuel supply linkages to projects with de-allocated coal blocks, reducing the rehabilitation and resettlement cost of hydro projects by funding it out of the National Clean Energy Fund, and relaxation of date of commencement of commercial operation norms. Business Line

 
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Kolkatta March 3, 2014:- On the sidelines of a national seminar on power scenario, organised by the Engineers’ Welfare Forum of West Bengal Power Development Corporation Ltd, he said the government was expected to arrive at a lower figure soon for the financial year 2014-15 than the current average tariff of Rs. 5.93 a standard unit of a kilo watt hour.

The State utilities serve West Bengal, except for Kolkata and its surroundings, which are served by private player CESC Ltd. The government will have to place the proposal to the State power regulator – West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission – for approval.

Incidentally, CESC Ltd recently sought an 18 per cent upward revision in average tariff for 2014-15 in a petition to the power regulator.

At the meeting, the Minister, however, expressed the State government’s dismay at the Centre’s move to establish a coal regulator without the authority to fix the price of coal supplies to the power producers.

The proposed Coal Regulatory Authority will not determine the rates of coal supplies to the power units, but it would be empowered to adjudicate disputes over price, supplies, quality and the fuel supply agreements.

 
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Mumbai February 28, 2014:- In a press conference on Wednesday, the 
(AAP) alleged the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission () had made no efforts to address the misrepresentation of taxes by power distribution companies here.

The allegations were, however, denied by distribution companies  and Reliance Infrastructure.

In a statement, Tata Power said, "We are sad to note such baseless allegations are being made by AAP without fully understanding the domain. The Appellate Tribunal of Electricity (Aptel) had given a verdict in favor of the power companies and left it to the discretion of MERC, after comprehensively studying the issue. Both these bodies represent subject expertise related to electricity business and such allegations against them without understanding the issue at hand is unfair."

Separately, a Reliance Infrastructure spokesperson said, "We are surprised at the false and baseless allegations that appear to have been made by AAP purely for political considerations. The cost of power purchases for Reliance Infra is approved by MERC and is the lowest in Mumbai. Aptel's judgment is based on the judicial proceedings on the merit of the case. Allegations against this reflect their disregard for the judicial process."

"The MERC order issued is strictly in line with its tariff regulations, under the Electricity Act, 2003, which are universally applicable to all the generating companies of the state."- Business Standard
 
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CERC order for Mundra rate says concession must be offset with profit sharing, cut in return on equity

New Delhi February 26, 2014:- The compensatory rate of 52p a unit allowed by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission () to Tata Power for the latter’s Ultra Mega Power Project at Mundra, Gujarat, would be offset by at least three factors.

These are the sharing of profits earned by Tata’s Indonesian mining companies, sacrificing one per cent (RoE) and lower auxiliary consumption of 4.75 per cent allowed by CERC. The three together are likely to bring down the effective compensatory rate to 47p a unit.

According to rating agency ICRA, the retail rate from the Mundra project for consumers in the five procuring states – Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan — after the compensation is expected to increase by 0.4-1.8 per cent or 3-10p a unit. The least impact would be felt by consumers in Maharashtra, who get only four per cent of their power supply from Tata’s Mundra.

In the case of supply by , also allowed a compensatory rise, the average rate for the buying utilities is estimated to increase by an average of 1.7 per cent (7-10p/unit) in Gujarat and Haryana.

Also, the regulator has ruled the company should “share the burden of hardship” by sacrificing RoE, based on equity investment of contracted capacity. This could impact the earnings by an estimated Rs 50 crore annually. In addition, auxiliary power consumption of the plant as decided by an independent technical consultant (7.75 per cent) has been disallowed and is to be maintained at 4.75 per cent. Auxiliary power refers to the initial load consumed in the start-up operations.

Tata Power holds 30 per cent stake in three coal mines in Indonesia which supply fuel for the imported coal-based Mundra project. “The sharing of actual profit from coal mining operations in Indonesia shall be calculated on the total incremental revenue after payment of taxes and royalty as per Indonesian regulations and incremental mining cost in proportion to the coal used for generation of contracted power,” CERC said in its order.

The Indonesian government had in September 2010 announced its decision to link mineral exports from that nation to market rates -- a mix of domestic benchmark and global coal price indices. The decision, taking effect in September 2011, increased the price of coal supplied to plants such as Mundra. Procurers had demanded discounting the compensatory rate to the extent of profits earned by Tata Power from its mines in Indonesia.- Business Standard

 
 
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Mumbai February 24, 2014:-
Consumers in five states, including Maharashtra, will have to foot higher electricity bills once the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC)’s order providing relief for 
’s plant gets implemented.

CERC has ruled for a higher rate to compensate for the higher cost of imported Indonesian coal, on which Mundra runs. The sector regulator allowed Tata a compensatory rate of 52 paise a unit of power for the 4,000-Mw plant in Gujarat’s Kutch district.

A spokesperson of , Maharashtra’s power distribution company, told PTI, “We are studying the order, after which we will decide the future course of action.”

A MahaVitaran official told Business Standard: “We have a power purchase agreement with Coastal Gujarat Power (CGPL), an arm of Tata Power, for 25 years at a levelised Rs 2.26 a unit. However, after adding the CERC index for imported coal, this comes to Rs 2.45-2.50 a unit. With the addition of the compensatory rate, the Mundra power will cost Rs 3 a unit. The rise being a pass-through under the provisions of the Electricity Act 2003, it will be recovered from consumers.” Those below the poverty line and consuming less than 100 units would not be hit by the increased prices.

MahaVitaran buys 800 Mw of power from Mundra and its additional cost for this would now be Rs 300 crore annually.

Discoms in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab could not be immediately contacted. Like with Maharashtra, CGPL, implementing the Mundra project, has agreements with these four states, too, for selling power from the plant at Rs 2.26 a unit.  In a separate order, CERC granted nearly Rs 830 crore compensation for Adani Power’s 4,620-Mw Mundra plant. 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, the order said.

Power producers laud order
The Association of Power Producers (APP) said the CERC's orders for the imported coal-based units of the two companies in Gujarat would go a long way in restoring the economics of such generation projects, beside reviving investors’ sentiment. Even with the proposed compensation, the resulting cost for these projects would be competitive compared to the rates arrived at through the recent bids for long-term power in Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, it said.PTI
 

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