KSEB and regulatory panel in ‘power play’

Board decision to resell power to Punjab has not sat well with KSERC
Image used for representation
Image used for representation

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: KSEB’s decision to resell power to Punjab has given fresh ammunition to the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC) which is engrossed in a blame game with the board for over a year now.

Taking a dig at the KSEB, the commission has hinted that had the board properly understood the IMD prediction on summer showers, it would not have ended up in a situation where it was forced to resell the power, purchased at exorbitant rates. But the KSEB terms the chiding a deliberate ploy by the KSERC to divert attention from the Power Purchase Agreement it had cancelled in May last.

On Friday, the KSEB had decided to provide 450 mw of power, 300mw round the clock and another 150mw from 3 am to 6 pm, for six days until May 31 to Punjab State Power Corporation. It has also been agreed to return the 450mw, plus an extra 5%, to the KSEB during next April when the state would require additional power.

The KSEB was in a desperate position to procure power from outside at exorbitant rates to meet the increased demand during peak hours a fortnight ago, when the state was reeling under heatwave-like conditions. It saw the board buying power at Rs 10 per unit from May 12 when the price during normal circumstances would have been under Rs 4.25 per unit. The agreement was that the board would purchase power at this rate until May 31. But the state has experienced abundant summer showers for more than a week now.

The KSERC feels that the power purchase was totally unwarranted and done without proper planning. A senior KSEB official told TNIE that it has caused further burden on the already cash-strapped board.

“The board has surrendered more than 50 lakh units of unused power. Whether it is used or not, the board has to pay a fixed charge, close to `4 crore per day, as its price,” said a senior board official.

But the board feels that the root cause of the whole issue is the KSERC’s action in last May of cancelling the 25-year-long PPA of 465mw power at a rate of Rs 4.26 per unit, citing procedural lapses. Despite this, the Commission is eager to blame the KSEB. “The controversy is unwarranted. We’ve the right to purchase power during exigencies,” a senior KSEB official said.

Agreement reached

KSEB has decided to provide 450 mw of power, 300mw round the clock and another 150mw from 3 am to 6 pm, for six days until May 31 to Punjab State Power Corporation

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com