The Union Power Ministry, in a bid to provide some relief to cash-strapped distribution utilities, is firming up the strategy of statutory intervention to make power regulators perform better.

This is aimed at holding regulators accountable so that distribution utilities should not face troubles for lack of adequate revenue streams. The ministry proposes to put in place a mechanism whereby the appointments of regulators and their performance would be reviewed.

Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (MahaGenco) says it would have to pay an extra Rs 201 crore yearly, due to the 10-15 per cent rise in supply rates from Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL, a Coal India arm.

The rise announced by WCL is for the entire western region. “The rise was made when pricing was shifted to a Gross Calorific Value (basis) from (the earlier) Useful Heat Value basis,” said a WCL official. “Due to the power ministry’s demand, the hike was rolled back.” The roll back had been reversed, he said.

Fossil fuel-based captive power plants (CPPs) with power demand of 1 MVA (mega volt-ampere) and above are now entitled to open access in Maharashtra. For this, Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MahaVitaran) has laid down stringent conditions, including installation of special energy metre, joint metre reading, payment of additional demand charge of Rs 20 per unit during unplanned outages, 15-minute time block to be considered for energy accounting and billing for CPP outside Maharashtra or outside its area of supply.

Seeks Competition Commission of India probe into ?abuse of dominance? by CIL, Western Coal Field

Coal India’s “dominant and monopolistic” position in relation to production and supply has been challenged at the Competition Commission of India (CCI). The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (Maha-Genco) has complained to the country’s apex competition regulator, pressing for an investigation against the Kolkata-headquartered Maharatna for “abuse of dominant position”.

Two days after Coal India Ltd (CIL), the world’s largest coal producer, entered into fuel supply agreements (FSAs) with 27 power companies, some power producers, including Maharashtra State Power Generation Co Ltd (Mahagenco), on Wednesday raised objections against some terms of the pacts.

Mahagenco, one of the largest power producers in the country, has sent a communication to CIL, demanding some provisions in the FSA, mainly the penalty clause, be revisited. The company further said the draft FSA, in its present format, took care of only CIL’s interests.

Industry unhappy over unremunerative tariff in a scenario of rising biomass prices

Amid growing regulatory and administrative uncertainties the biomass-based power producers have sought the intervention of Forum of Regulators (FoR) for early resolution of issues relating to open access, cross subsidy, CDM sharing, penalty clause imposed by certain distribution companies for maintaining plant load factor and the tariff structure.

Maharashtra regulator starts proceedings for stakeholders' opinion

State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) want to be very cautious before implementation of power ministry’s suggestion on providing open access for consumers with a demand for 1 MW and above. The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has taken a lead to solicit suggestions from members of public and all stakeholders in the state.

Amid the growing restriction over the availability of coal in the country, the ministries of coal and power have arrived at a consensus to freeze the capacity and list of power projects linked to Coal India Ltd (CIL) companies.

The power ministry has identified projects of 127,448 Mw capacity that would need 557 million tonnes of coal for the signing of fuel supply agreements (FSA) with CIL and its subsidiaries.

Considering the growing need for imports due to constraints in the availability of domestic coal, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), in an advisory, has told all power-generating companies, p

The coal ministry has issued revised guidelines for preparing mine closure plans, incorporating a few stringent provisions.

Mine owners would now have to open escrow accounts with scheduled banks, with the Coal Controller’s Organisation (CCO) as an exclusive beneficiary. When the final mine closure scheme is implemented by the owner five years before the scheduled closure of operations, the CCO may permit withdrawals from the escrow account proportionate to the quantum of work carried out, as reimbursement. The withdrawn amount every year should not exceed 20 per cent of the total amount deposited in the account.