Saturday, May 21, 2022

Punjab

Powercom engineers suggest ways to save 4000 crores annually

VINOD GUPTA | May 12, 2022 03:07 PM

CHANDIGARH: PSEB Engineers Association has made suggestions to the Punjab government to improve the financial health of the PSPCL and thus save Rs. 4000 crores per annum.

A five member delegation led by President Jasbir Dhiman and General Secretary Ajaypal Singh Atwal met Punjab Power Minister Harbhajan Singh ETO on Wednesday and explained to him the short term and long term measures needed to streamline the working of the PSPCL.

The power purchase agreements (PPAs)with the private generators should be reviewed and modified to save unnecessary fixed and variable charges.

The Association claimed that higher capacity charges of Rajpura thermal and Talwandi Sabo thermal are being paid vis-a-vis similar to other power projects. They demanded that responsibility should be fixed for forcing higher capacity charges on the state of Punjab causing a loss of Rs. 28672 crore over the 25 years term of PPAs. This serious lapse was not covered in the White Paper issued in 2021.

All future generating plants within the state should be executed under the state sector to avoid such scandals. A solar plant of 250MW capacity should be installed by PSPCL in the vacant space of Bathinda thermal.

The coal from the Pachhwara coal mine should be used to produce cheap power from Lehra Mohabbat and Ropar thermal plants. This coal can also be used to replace the imported coal being used by private generators.

Punjab is buying 2244 million units of renewable energy from RE generators within Punjab is about Rs.1536 crore annually at an average rate of Rs.6.84 per unit against Solar Energy Corporation of India's rate of Rs.2.83 per unit.

The REpower rates need to be brought down to Rs. 4.50 per unit worked out by PSERC for 2020-21 on the UP pattern.

There is a need to cleanse the power purchase and regulation organization purchasing power worth Rs.23, 000 crore
Punjab government should make timely and full payment of subsidy and this will help PSPCL to make timely payments of power purchases and will save late payment charges.

PSPCL should focus on the top 20 loss-making divisions with active political and police help to check power theft. New Power Plants in place of Ropar and Lehra Mohabbat need to be executed in the state sector keeping in view the power requirement of the future.

The huge shortage of staff is affecting the working of PSPCL very badly. There is a need to fill immediately critical categories like ALM, LM, JE, AE, RA, Meter reader, and SSA.

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