Sunday, August 24, 2008

Meeting to seek power crisis solution !

Meeting to seek power crisis solution - Express India
Meeting to seek power crisis solution
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Express News Service
Posted online: Sunday , August 24, 2008 at 03:10:04
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Pune, August 23 There is hope for the city on the power front, as state Energy Minister Dilip Walse-Patil on Saturday said the power situation in Pune might improve after a joint meeting on the Pune model of zero load shedding to be held in Mumbai on Monday.

In July, the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) imposed load shedding owing to the drought-like situation. The city had to go through six hours of load shedding daily. However, after the sufficient rains in August, the MSEDCL last week officially declared a ‘no load shedding’ situation again. However, it continued the load shedding from the next day, saying Tata Power Trading Company Limited (TPTCL), the franchisee appointed for providing additional power, did not assure firm contracted power to them. As a result, the city is still reeling under load shedding.

Against this scenario, the state Power Minister has assured that the Monday meeting might bring something positive for the city. From Pune, state council chairman of CII, Pradeep Bhargava, Shantanu Dixit of Prayas Energy Group and Vivek Velankar of Sajag Nagrik Manch will attend.

Stressing that energy conservation should be the new mantra, Walse-Patil said the state government would add another 6,500 MW through new power generation plants in the next three-four years, with a total investment of Rs 18,000 crore. The power addition is also going to come from private players, including Jindal Power, Tata Power Company and Adani Group, which are going to set up power bases in Ratnagiri, Mumbai and Gondia in Vidarbha respectively, Walse-Patil said.

“Industry consumes 31 per cent of the total energy. However, we have high potential in conserving energy. The government of India enacted Energy Conservation Act in 2001 and Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has been appointed the agency for that in the state. The installed power capacity of the state is 15,000 MW, while the daily shortage is 4,000-5,000 MW,” he said.

He said the state was also working towards the usage of non-conventional energy. “We have sanctioned three projects in this regard,” Walse-Patil said, adding that if the Indo-US nuclear deal goes through, Maharashtra would get 10,000 MW of power.

Friday, August 22, 2008

RNRL Ready to operate defunct Gas power plants

"It is Good news. Options are always there everywhere for cleaner energy generation. But alas !, no one is serious about such minimal impact power generation options !

Ready to buy power plants: RNRL
Ready to buy power plants: RNRL
Bs Reporter / Mumbai August 22, 2008, 0:49 IST

Acquired units to utilise RIL’s KG gas till Dadri facility kicks off.

Reliance Natural Resources (RNRL) has said it is willing to buy or lease gas-based power plants until its Dadri power plant in Uttar Pradesh is commissioned, if Reliance Industries (RIL) agrees to supply gas. RNRL is engaged in a court battle with RIL for sourcing gas from the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin.

RNRL also said it would trade the excess gas supplied to it in line with government policy.

RNRL’s counsel Mukul Rohatgi said on Thursday in the Bombay High Court, “Since RNRL will need three years to set up the power plant, it can either lease or buy gas-based power generation facilities, which are lying idle in states like Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, and use the gas supply to generate power. It can also trade the gas with other parties in line with the government of India policy as RIL would do.” After RNRL’s plant takes shape, it will use the gas for captive consumption.


# RNRL said it would trade the excess gas supplied to it in line with government policy
# The firm's argument comes as a surprise because the company had so far maintained that it would not trade the gas, but use it only to generate power from its plant
# After RNRL's plant takes shape, it will use the gas for captive consumption.
# The RNRL counsel told the court that they were ready to negotiate with RIL on the case and share the cost of exploration of gas

RNRL’s argument comes as a surprise because the company had so far maintained that it would not trade the gas, but use it only to generate power from its plant. According to RNRL, the gas sale master agreement (GSMA) is a commercially non-bankable agreement, which has prevented RNRL from raising funds and bringing its power plant on course.

According to GSMA, RNRL is entitled to be supplied 28 million cubic metres of gas per day from the KG basin at a price of $2.34 per million British thermal unit (mBtu) for a period of 17 years.

Mukesh Ambani-promoted RIL’s senior counsel, Harish Salve, while presenting his case on July 31, had said RIL feared RNRL would trade the gas it got from it at cheap price to a third party since it did not have its power plant in place. “We will buy the gas from RIL at the agreed price of $2.34 per mmbtu and trade it at market price,” said Ram Jethmalani, a senior counsel for RNRL. Earlier in the day, the RNRL counsel told the court that they were ready to negotiate with RIL on the case and share the cost of exploration of gas — which according to RIL has run into Rs 40,000 crore so far — provided RIL shared with them the gas produce from the KG basin.

Jethmalani reiterated, “Mukesh Ambani and his directors should be prosecuted for criminal breach of trust as the drafts of GSMA and GSPA (gas sale and purchase agreement) were approved by the board of RIL at a time when the board of RNRL was also under the control of Mukesh Ambani.”

Meanwhile, arguing on the central government’s behalf, government cousel T S Doabia today told the Bombay High Court that National Thermal Power Corporation has no contract with RIL, contradicting NTPC’s own stand in its case against RIL. “NTPC has been arguing all along that it has a concluded contract with RIL. With this statement, NTPC has no case at all,” said Rohatgi.

“This shows your government is corrupt,” added Jethmalani. However, Doabia maintained “my instructions are that NTPC does not have a concluded contract with RIL”.

RIL won NTPC’s bid for supply of 12 million metric standard cubic metres gas per day in 2004, but the contract is now stuck in a legal row over the issue of cap on liability in case of breach of contract. The matter is pending before the Bombay High Court and NTPC’s stand in the case is that RIL is bound by a concluded contract. RIL, on its part, says the contract is not yet final. The resolution of the NTPC case is important in the RIL-RNRL case as the agreement between RIL and RNRL will provide for RNRL getting 12 mmscmd of additional gas if the RIL-NTPC contract fails. This would entitle RNRL to have a total of 40 mmscmd of gas.

RNRL, which began its arguments last week, had said either GSMA between RNRL and RIL be implemented or destroyed. Else, RIL should compensate RNRL in monetary terms to the tune of Rs 50,000 crore.

The hearing in the case has been adjourned to September 1.


RNRL also said it would trade the excess gas supplied to it in line with government policy.

The firm’s argument comes as a surprise because the company had so far maintained that it would not trade the gas, but use it only to generate power from its plant

After RNRL’s plant takes shape, it will use the gas for captive consumption.

The RNRL counsel told the court that they were ready to negotiate with RIL on the case and share the cost of exploration of gas

There is no buyers for Power ?

This is quite interesting, While everyone is after making new Power plants "at any co(a)st" to combat power shortage, This is shockingly contradictory !

Lots of power, no buyers; more load shedding - Express India
Lots of power, no buyers; more load shedding
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Express News Service
Posted online: Friday , August 22, 2008 at 12:16:05

Pune, August 21 Power was available in abundance on Thursday — 4,200 MW could not be sold due to lack of buyers at The Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) — yet the city continued to reel under power cuts.

The Pune division CEO of the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL), R B Gautam, reiterated that as long as power is available there would be no load shedding. But power was available and there was load shedding

IEX is a nationwide automated and online electricity trading platform. Its CEO, Jayant Deo, said it had 9,663 MW available and sold 5463 MW at rates between Rs 2.90 and Rs 8.90 per unit. Tata Power Company did not purchase power for Pune on Thursday, Deo said.

The city still needs 150 MW of power, Gautam said, adding that load shedding would be enforced when power was not available. On Thursday, areas under Group B like Rasta Peth and others faced power cuts up to four-and-a-half hours.

The dry spell for two days has also raised the overall shortfall in the state to 3,500 MW. According to MSEDCL officials in Mumbai, the statewide demand was 12,700 MW and only 9,700 MW was available.

Thermal power units are still under the annual overhaul, especially units 3 and 5 at Chandrapur, unit 3 at Bhusawal, unit 1 at Khaparkhede and unit 2 at Khoradi. These units jointly generate more than 1000 MW.

Pradeep Bhargava, chairman of the Maharashtra Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry, said he was now working towards procurement of 325 MW from October 1 for Pune and Thane. He and other consumer activists have several questions for the MSEDCL as the latter’s predictions about availability of power have gone awry and an ambiguity has emerged about the load shedding protocol. Vivek Velankar of Sajag Grahak Manch points out that Tata Power Company had successfully provided the required power to mitigate load shedding in Pune during the crucial months of April to June.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wartsila - Gas power

Wartsila to buy power service provider
Wartsila to buy power service provider
P B Jayakumar / Mumbai August 19, 2008, 0:08 IST

Finland-based power equipment maker Wartsila Corporation, a global leader in small- to medium-size, furnace oil- and gas-based power plants, is exploring big business growth in India.

Wartsila is set to acquire a domestic service provider for the power sector and is in advanced negotiations with power utilities and gas suppliers to form strategic alliances or joint ventures. The ventures are planned for power production, technology, engineering, procurement and construction of power plants and for their operation and maintanence, said Christoph Vitzthum, group vice-president, Wartsila. "India is a major hub for our global operations and considering the growth potential India has in the power and shipbuilding businesses, we will invest substantially in this country," he said.

Christoph, who came to India to inaugurate the new auxilliary manufacturing unit of Wartsila in Khopoli, Maharashtra, said the corporation has already invested about 7-10 million euros in India for production facilities. The new unit, along with the existing unit in Khapoli, will cater to global auxilliary requirements of the company.

Auxilliary units and modules are peripheral accessories to diesel power plants and these process the oil, fuel and water that enter the diesel engines. Rakesh Sarin, the MD of Wartsila India, said the company was in the process of sensitising policymakers and power sector players in the country on advantages of mini-power plants offered by Wartsila, which results in efficiency and reduction in transmission losses due to nearness to load centres, especially during peak load hours. Further, such power plants can come up in quick time compared with large thermal power plants that require years to take off.

ALL CHARGED UP# Wartsila Corporation, a global leader in gas-based power plants, is exploring big business growth in India# The company is in advanced negotiations with power utilities and gas suppliers to form strategic alliances or joint ventures for power production

"We are looking at development of power plants in a cluster form (such as 10 X 300 mw at a single location) near gas pipelines and are talking to many players," he said. The Rs 280-crore Wartsila India, which delisted from stock exchanges last year, has so far installed over 3,200 mw in different parts of India.

Wartsila said it is also looking at the shipping segment in India as a major growth driver for the company,mainly in industrial customers' projects. Operation and maintanence of power plants are another major revenue earner for the company, which operates and manages over 55 power plant sites covering about 148 engines and three steam turbines generating a total of 813 mw.

Christoph Vitzthum said Wartsila, one of the global leaders for marine engines and accessories, is also looking at the shipping segment in India as a major growth driver for the company. "India currently accounts for just 1 per cent of the global shipping industry and this is poised to grow to 8-9 per cent by 2015, displacing major players in Europe and Japan. We expect Wartsila India to contribute a double-digit share of revenues to our global turnover by that time," he said.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sophia Power to finalize EPC contract soon in Amravati of Maharashtra.

SteelGuru - News
August 17, 2008

Sophia Power to finalize EPC contract soon

Project Today reported that India Bulls Group promoted company Sophia Power is currently processing EPC bids and finalizing coal linkages for Phase I of the 1,320 MW (2x660 MW) thermal power project. The project is located at Village Nandgaonpet in Amravati of Maharashtra.

Phase-I forms part of Amravati thermal power project 2,640 MW to be implemented in two phases over 1,350 acres of land. SEPCO, China has evinced interest in the bids invited on May 20th 2008.

The company expects to finalize the contractor by end August 2008. The scope of work includes design, engineering, manufacturing, procurement, supply and commissioning of the project.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Adani in power purchase deal with Maharashtra State for 1320MW

Adani in power purchase deal with Maharashtra State Electricity Co - sensex,nifty,market
Adani Power Ltd (APL) said it has received the Letter of Intent (LoI) from the the Maharashtra State Electricity Company Ltd (MSECL) for supply of 1,320 MW of electricity, to be generated with domestic coal at Mundra, under competitive bidding process at Rs 2.64 a unit.

The company has already signed two power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) for the supply of 1,000 MW of power produced from the Mundra I and II power projects, and another 1,000 MW from the Mundra III at Rs 2.89 a unit (with imported coal) and Rs 2.35 a kilo Watt hour (kWh) or an unit (domestic coal) respectively.

Recently, Adani Power had received LoI for supply of 1,311 MW of power, also to be generated at Mundra, from Haryana Power Generation Corporation Ltd (HPGCL) at Rs 2.94 an unit (imported coal). With this, Adani Power has completed tie-ups of long-term PPAs of more than 4,500 MW. The company is setting up total generation capacity of about 9,900 MW and with this LoI, the long-term tie-up of nearly half of the output from its various generation plants has been achieved, the company spokesman said here.

The company has six coal-fired thermal power projects under various stages of development or planning, with a combined power generation capacity of 9,900 MW at a cost of around Rs 43,000 crore. It intends to sell power under a combination of long-term power purchase agreements to industrial and State-owned consumers as well as on merchant basis.

The Adanis have been able to provide competitive bids as they have presence across the entire value chain of power business. They have coal mines in Indonesia for power plants at coastal location like Mundra and at Lohara (Maharashtra) for inland location like Tiroda.

In addition, the company has placed orders for two Capsize ships for ferrying coal. APL is the largest importer for merchant coal in India at present and is also planning to set up the world’s largest coal import terminal to handle over 30 million tonnes of coal at Mundra.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Power crisis looms large as key thermal stations starve for coal

The Hindu Business Line : Power crisis looms large as key thermal stations starve for coal
Power crisis looms large as key thermal stations starve for coal

Overall coal shortage situation at an all-time high.

Anil Sasi

New Delhi, Aug 8 The coal shortage situation that has been brewing across the country’s thermal power stations has taken a turn for the worse, with at least six major thermal power stations across the country reporting that they have run out of coal stocks.

Of these, four stations – the 2000 MW Singrauli, the 2,600 MW Ramagundam, the 3,000 MW Talcher and 1,840 MW Kahalgaon – are operated by state-owned NTPC Ltd, which has communicated to the Centre that the utility is being forced to generate power based on day-to-day coal supplies at its plants and that some of its larger power stations could be shutdown if the situation does not improve fast.

The overall coal shortage situation across the country is at an all-time high, with 44 of the 77 thermal stations in the country reporting “critical stocks” required for below a week’s operations, of which 24 have supercritical stocks of under four days.
Low production

The shortages, according to the power utilities, are on account of a lower coal production by Coal India Ltd, mainly with excessive monsoon rains throwing production schedule out of gear at several coal fields, especially those in the eastern region. Higher than anticipated power generation at some stations and unloading constraints at others, combined with low levels of coal imports, have compounded the problem further. Besides, low coal supplies to its Farakka and Kahalgaon plants has been due to consistent break down of the coal handling system and non-operation of silos.

“We are forced to regulate generation based on day-to-day coal supplies and most of out key stations are facing the threat of closure. We have already asked for the Government’s intervention in directing Coal India Ltd to take action quickly or we are headed towards a major power crisis,” an NTPC official said. On August 5, for instance, NTPC’s generation at 500 million units was down by over five per cent, while Damodar Valley Corporation’s (DVC) thermal generation over 36 per cent below that target set for the day due to coal shortages, according to latest data.
Tougher Imports

To worsen matters, the import option for the country’s utilities is increasingly getting tougher as China, which is also facing low domestic reserves and acute power shortage, has stepped up coal purchases internationally. The resultant rise in the global spot prices of coal, which have shot up to over $140 per tonne in Australia and above $125 per tonne in South Africa, is further styming plans by Indian utilities to use imported coal to tide over shortages. According to official sources, NTPC has been unable to make any substantial coal imports in April and May despite the looming shortage situation.

Power utilities in the Northern and the Eastern region have been worst affected by the coal shortages. Besides NTPC stations, the other utilities that have been badly hit include Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Company Ltd (the 1,260 MW Dr N Tata Rao and 840 MW Rayalaseema thermal stations) and DVC’s 340 MW Durgapur and West Bengal SEB’s 450 MW Bandel station are among those that have run out of coal stocks.

Thermal stations are normally expected to hold coal stocks of between 15 and 30 days, depending on the location of the project. While pithead stations should hold stocks of 15 days or more, stations located away from the mine are expected to hold coal stocks for 21 to 30 days.

JSW to foray into power distribution


India Infoline News Service / Mumbai Aug 08, 2008 11:17

JSW is setting up a 1,200 MW project at Jaigad, in Ratnagiri district, of Maharashtra and the SPV will evacuate power from this plant

JSW Energy is reportedly planning to invest Rs4.75bn on setting up a 400-kv transmission evacuation system in Maharashtra in a joint venture (JV) with Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company (Mahatransco).

According to reports, JSW will have a 74% stake in the proposed JV while the balance 26% will be held by Mahatransco. JSW is setting up a 1,200 MW project at Jaigad, in Ratnagiri district, of Maharashtra and the SPV will evacuate power from this plant, reports add.

S.S. Rao joint MD & CEO of JSW Energy said that the debt equity ratio for the Maharashtra project is 70:30 and the debt portion has already been tied up. The SPV has applied for becoming a transmission license in the state.

According to reports, Sajjan Jindal, Vice Chairman & MD of JSW Steel says that JSW Energy is talking to Karnataka government for a similar project.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

D2E Editorial on Indian Environmental Struggles

Learn to walk Lightly
Aug 15, 2008

n Sikkim, bowing to local protests, the government has cancelled 11 hydro-electric projects. In Arunachal Pradesh, dam projects are being cleared at breakneck speed and resistance is growing. In Uttarakhand last month, 2 projects on the Ganga were put on hold and there is growing concern about the rest. In Himachal Pradesh, dams are so controversial that elections were won where candidates said they would not allow these to be built. Many other projects, from thermal power stations to Greenfield mining, are being resisted. The South Korean giant posco’s iron ore mine, steel plant and port are under fire. The prime minister has promised the South Korean premier the project will go ahead by August. But local people are not listening. They don’t want to lose their land and livelihood and do not believe in promises of compensation. In Maharashtra, mango growers are up in arms against the proposed thermal power station in Ratnagiri.

In every nook and corner of the country where land is acquired, or water sourced, for industry, people are fighting even to death. There are wounds. There is violence. There is also desperation. Like it or not, there are a million mutinies today. Like it or not, there will be two million tomorrow. Unless we understand these protests are not just about politically motivated people stirred up by outsiders and competitors to obstruct development.

I have written this before. After I visited Kalinganagar, where villagers died protesting against Tata’s project, I wrote this was not about competition or Naxalism. These were poor villagers who knew they did not have the skills to survive in the modern world. They had seen their neighbours displaced, promised jobs and money that never came. They knew they were poor. But they also knew modern development would make them poorer. It was the same in prosperous Goa, where I found village after village fighting against the powerful mining lobby, where people told me they were fed up because mining rejects destroyed their agriculture and dried-up their streams. These were educated, even skilled, people. But they did not want to drive the trucks of the miners. They wanted to till their land. Make money. Live well, if not rich.

This is the nub of the matter: we just cannot believe people, poor or relatively rich, do not want to leave their land, when we promise them jobs. We can only see their wretched poverty. We cannot understand their reason.

This article is not about them, but us. It is clear we need dams, steel plants and thermal power projects. These are key to our need to develop. We know this, and so we refuse to understand them. Used to getting our way, we are working to fast-track our development, through fiat. Our response is two-fold. First, we want to change and weaken environmental regulations in the name of streamlining procedures and providing single-window clearances to industry. Last year, the government, under pressure on environmental safeguards, changed the rules of the environmental impact assessment (eia) procedures. The idea was to ‘cut’ red tape and to give fast clearances. There is now pressure to give de-facto clearance to all mining projects that have been given a clearance to prospect for minerals. There are also murmurs about removing thermal projects from environmental clearances. And now, a powerful grouping of real estate movers and shakers are demanding no clearances be required for urban projects—malls, residential areas, whatever.

We also justify this process, saying the institutions that grant clearances are corrupt and incompetent. We do not say these same institutions have been made corrupt because we have promoted procedures for our convenience and access to decision-making. We do not say the eia is not worth the paper it is written on, or that the consultant is given money by us, not to assess a project but to get it cleared. We also do not demand these institutions must be given more staff, more facilities and more ways to do their job.

Second, we lose patience. And with it, we are losing our humanity. Today, people are in a dirty war even as we stoop, to stop at nothing to quell the fight. Our tactics are well rehearsed. We first work on the leaders. If we can’t buy them, we threaten them. If that fails, we hide behind the might of the state to ensure protest is muzzled. But what we should realise, fast, is these strategies are not working. Yes, we get our way in some cases, for some time. But what resentment and anger, even hatred, we create, in our own backyard. We must realise these struggles are not ‘time-pass movements’ (as the slang goes). These are about survival. The fact is in India vast numbers depend on the land, the forests and the water they have in their vicinity for their livelihood. They know once these resources are gone or degraded, they have no way ahead.

This is the environmental movement of the very poor. Here, there are no quick-fix techno solutions in which the real problems can be fobbed off for later. In this environmentalism, there is only one answer: changing the way we do business, with them and with their environment. It will demand we reduce our need and increase our efficiency for every inch of land we need, every tonne of mineral we dig and every drop of water we use. It will demand new arrangements to share benefits with local communities so that they are persuaded to part with their resources for a common development.

If we can listen and learn, maybe this environmentalism of the poor may teach not just us, but the entire world, how to walk lightly on earth. Maybe. Just maybe.

—Sunita Narain
Source: Down to Earth Editor's page Archive