THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Electricity Regulatory Commission has approved a higher power purchase cost of Rs 65 crore for KSEB for the expenses the public utility had incurred for fuel purchase during the first quarter of 2017-18. The Commission, however, has rejected for the time being KSEBL’s plea that a surcharge of 14 paise a unit be imposed on consumers to recoup the extra outgo.
KSEBL had made two submissions before the ERC. One, it submitted that it had incurred an additional financial liability of Rs 74.60 crores as a result of a higher power purchase cost from central generating stations (Rs 70. 42 crore) and independent power producers (Rs 4.18 crore) during the period from April to June 2017.
Two, the public utility wanted the ERC to allow it to recover the additional expense from the consumers. The ERC has approved the first submission with minor changes, but has kept aside the KSEBL’s plea to recoup the extra expenditure in the form of a surcharge.
KSEBL stated that except for two central generating stations (the two stages of NTPC Ramagundam), the quantum of power purchased from the remaining eight increased during the first quarter of 2017-18. Power purchased from two of the six independent power producers, Jindal and Jhabua, too went up.
As against the approved quantum of 4794.34 million units, the actual power purchased during the first quarter of the 2017-18 fiscal was 4902.65 MU, an increase of 108.31 MU over the approved level. The excess purchase was to compensate the shortfall in hydel generation.
The increase in purchase was approved because though there was an increase in the quantum of power purchased, KSEBL managed to secure it at a cost lower than what was approved by the Commission.
The cost of power purchase for the three months was Rs 1884.07 crore though only Rs 1869.79 crore was approved. But KSEBL got the power at an average rate of Rs 3.84 per unit as against the approved average rate of Rs 3.90 per unit.