Surplus power shocks' Kerala State Electricity Board

KSEBL had surrendered three to four million units back to the central generating stations.

Thiruvananthapuram: KSEB Limited seems to have found itself in the equivalent of a fantasy land. Normally, when daily consumption spurts, KSEBL would panic and strike self-defeating power purchase agreements with private traders. Instead, KSEBL’s sole concern now is how to manage its surplus power.

In the last few days, when daily consumption climbed to 63 million units, KSEBL had surrendered three to four million units back to the central generating stations.

Last year same time, daily consumption was below 55 MU but KSEBL was still purchasing power at high cost from private traders and also sourcing power from costly naphtha and diesel stations.

“This time, in spite of the high daily consumption, we are not overworking our hydel stations,” a top KSEB source said. It is kept almost at the same level as last year when consumption was considerably less (54 MU).

What’s more, KSEBL had stopped securing power from costly naphtha and diesel power stations for the last two months, slashing its power purchase cost dramatically.

Such a power-rich situation has been achieved as a consequence of medium-and long-term power purchase agreements entered into a timely manner.

Already 800 MW arrives from Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Karnataka. When these agreement expires in the middle of 2016 and the start of 2017, two long-term 25-year agreements to purchase a total of 865 MW of low-cost power from private traders in Odisha and Chattisgarh will kick into action.

The two agreements it is said would free the state from the need to impose power curbs at least till 2020.

The first agreement is for the supply of 315 MW from a private trader in Odisha, which will begin flowing from December 2016.

The other is a 550 MW deal with a trader in Chattisgarh, which will start flowing from October 2017. Another big gain is the tariff.

At a time when power costs are increasing annually and hovering around the Rs 7-8 per unit mark, KSEB will get this power at Rs 4 per unit consistently for quarter of a century.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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