CAG hits out at OHPC for loss of cheap hydro power

The Comptroller and Auditor General has hit out at the state run Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) for losing out on cheap power during monsoon.

Published: 08th October 2016 11:59 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th October 2016 11:59 PM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The Comptroller and Auditor General has hit out at the state run Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) for losing out on cheap power during monsoon due to prolonged breakdown of hydro power generating units.

"OHPC failed to utilise 28.15 percent of the total available hours in monsoon period of 2010-15 resulting in a loss of generation of 10,184.87 million unit," the CAG report on Public Sector Undertakings for the year ended March 2015 said.

Stating that hydro power generating units remained idle for 1,28,792 hours out of 4,57,560 hours available during this five years, the premier national audit agency has quantified the loss of revenue to the tune of Rs 339.82 crore.

A power starving state like Odisha had to partially meet its demand by purchasing costly thermal power from NTPC and private power producers. The loss of cheap power was despite repeated advise by the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) to OHPC to maximise generation of power during monsoon season and not to undertake any planned maintenance during this time.

Performance audit of OHPC (a profit making state PSU) by CAG revealed that three hydro electricity projects at Hirakud, Rengali and Chipilima wasted valuable 3109 hours during monsoon period for undertaking scheduled maintenance.

There was forced outages for 25,556 hours out of 2.21 lakh hours available during monsoon period in teh last five financial years.    
This has resulted in a loss of generation of 1049.12 million units and loss of revenue to OHPC will be to the tune of Rs 35 crore.

About 3243 million units could not be generated due to forced outage of over 71,000 hours hydro power stations at Upper Indravati, Upper Kolab and Rengali. The corporation sustain a loss of about Rs 133.35 crore toward capacity charges.

"Though 15 out of 31 generating units of OHPC have outlived there normative lives of 35 years, RMU (renovation, modernisation and uprating) of only six units were completed as on March  2015," the report said.

Six units of Balimela Hydro Electricity Project completed their normative lives during 2008-12. The corporation approved RMU of the units at an estimated cost of Rs 664.70 crore in November 2012. OHPC floated tender for RMU in August 2013. The tender was not finalised till July 2015. The state PSU had to face generation loss of 1093.46 million units in the last five fiscal.

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