Cor­po­ra­tion will save ₹400 crore per year for next 20 years, the pe­riod for which it has PPA with pri­vate plants

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - FRONT PAGE - Vishal Ram­bani ram­bani@hin­dus­tan­

Cash-strapped PSPCL has got a ma­jor relief as the Union gov­ern­ment has done away with ‘washed coal’ con­di­tion for power plants.

PA­TIALA Cash-strapped Pun­jab State Power Cor­po­ra­tion Ltd. (PSPCL) has got a ma­jor relief as the Union gov­ern­ment has done away with ‘washed coal’ con­di­tion for power plants.

With this, the PSPCL will save at least ₹400 crore per an­num, be­sides get­ting a breather in a con­tempt pe­ti­tion filed by pri­vate ther­mal plants, seek­ing ₹2,800crore coal wash­ing charges. It will also bring down the pow­er­gen­er­a­tion cost in Pun­jab.

Till now, it was manda­tory to use washed coal to re­duce the ash con­tent and pri­vate plants were de­mand­ing wash­ing charges from the PSPCL.

Pri­vate power plants and

PSPCL were caught in a le­gal bat­tle over coal wash­ing charges. Af­ter los­ing the case in the Supreme Court, the PSPCL were to bear ₹1,790 crore against coal wash­ing charges for the pe­riod be­tween 2012 and 2019 (Oc­to­ber), along with the fu­ture an­nual bur­den of ₹400 crore. How­ever, pri­vate ther­mal plants were de­mand­ing ₹2,800 crore.

To make for the bur­den of ₹1,790 crore, the Pun­jab State Elec­tric­ity Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion (PSERC) in first week of Jan­uary this year al­lowed a 35 paise per unit sur­charge on power con­sumers.

The Supreme Court had di­rected the PSPCL to pay ₹2,800 crore to Larsen & Toubro (L&T) in lieu of coal wash­ing and trans­porta­tion costs. L&T runs

Nabha Power Limited (NPL), Ra­jpura, and Tal­wandi Sabo Power Plant under a power pur­chase agree­ment with the PSPCL.

The over­all im­pact of the judg­ment would have been ₹8,000 crore in next 20 years, the re­main­ing time pe­riod of PSPCL’s power pur­chase agree­ment with L&T, which the PSPCL will now save.

Power cor­po­ra­tion CMD Baldev Singh Sran said the Union en­vi­ron­ment min­istry’s step will prove most ben­e­fi­cial for Pun­jab. “Do­ing away with coal wash­ing will help us save ₹400 crore per year. It will ul­ti­mately re­duce power pro­duc­tion cost and ben­e­fit con­sumers ac­cord­ingly,” said Sran, adding “now the le­gal bat­tle over coal wash­ing charges has be­come in­fruc­tu­ous. It’s a ma­jor relief for PSPCL”.

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