PSPCL saves Rs 300 cr using domestic coal

Aman Sood
Tribune News Service
Patiala, January 28

Sufficient domestic coal availability due to the pandemic this year and the Centre’s import substitution policy have come as a blessing for the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL). The PSPCL will save around Rs 300 crore this year, as the Coal India Ltd (CIL) allocated higher quantities of domestic coal to two private plants in the state.

26 lakh tonnes allocated

  • Various subsidiaries of Coal India Ltd allocated 26 lakh tonnes of domestic coal to 2 pvt thermal power plants in Punjab
  • Nabha Power Ltd received 14 lakh tonnes while the Talwandi Sabo Thermal Power Plant is expected to replace 10.5 lakh tonnes of imported coal

This has helped the PSPCL reduce the cost of power production. Soon after the policy was enforced, the two private thermal power plants in Punjab managed to get around 26 lakh tonnes of coal allocated from various subsidiaries of the CIL. “As a result, the variable cost of energy from the Nabha Power Ltd has come to Rs 2.98 per unit and from the Talwandi Sabo Power Plant at Rs 3.61 per unit,” said officials.

Experts suggested that there was a structural deficit in the allocation of coal for the thermal power plants in the state. The coal allocated under the fuel supply agreement to the plants was not enough to sustain full operations. Due to this, in past, the two private thermal plants were constrained to import coal to meet the shortfall.

Documents revealed that the Nabha Power Ltd (NPL), which operates the Rajpura Thermal Power Plant, has already lifted 14 lakh tonnes of the 16 lakh tonnes of coal allocated from various subsidiaries of the CIL. The Talwandi Sabo Thermal Power Plant (TSPL) is expected to replace 10.5 lakh tonnes of imported coal with the domestic supply till March 2021.

“This helped the PSPCL cut down the fuel cost and is likely to save Rs 180 crore from the NPL and Rs 120 crore from the TSPL. The cost of power from the NPL went down by 23 paisa per unit, and from Talwandi Sabo, it slipped by 14 paisa per unit as compared to the previous year,” a senior PSPCL official said. “However, it is yet to be seen whether these accrued savings in the energy charges shall be passed on to the consumers during the next year’s tariff revision,” said the experts. PSPCL insiders said the corporation had to face huge losses in revenue during the lockdown period.

Due to the lockdown, the PSPCL recorded a significant fall in the energy sales which went down by around 1,600 million units (MUs) as compared to the previous year. In 2019-20, the PSPCL had sold 36,917 MUs, generating a revenue of Rs 31,809 crore. “During this fiscal, it is being projected that the power utility will sell around 35,300 MUs and the annual revenue will remain around Rs 31,550 crore by the end of March 2021,” said officials.

PSPCL saves Rs 300 cr using domestic coal
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