No PPAs, generate and sell

| 17 March 1998 10:28 IST

The power producers have a new proposal to play with. Without signing any power purchase agreement, you can generate the power and distribute it with your own network, to the number of new industries rushing to Goa.

It's an open sky policy for power generation and distribution in Goa from now onwards, as the tourist state is desperate for power. The plan is to hand over the major component of infrastructure entirely in the hands of the private sector.

The government would definitely control it, but only to the extent of common tariff rates and implementation of the existing environmental norms. The monitoring would be through the Power Regulator Authority, to be set up by the authorities.

The producers also have an option to utilise the government's junk transmission and distribution network by paying wheeling fees or setting up its own T & D system. But they have to sell power only to the exclusive units.

"The government power will also be available, with fluctuations and black outs", says chief minister Pratapsing Rane, who has sought the cabinet approval for its new decision. He expects to overcome the situation with his new privatisation policy.

Restrictions on the capacity of the power plant are waived, discarding its earlier plans of setting up five mini power projects of 50 MW each. One such plant, by the Salgaoncar Reliance Pvt Ltd, is already on the way of completion.

But the PPA signed with the RSPL would be now amended once again. It was supposed to sell 38 MW of power to the government while remaining 10 MW was allowed to be sold to the exclusive industrial units. Now they can sell it as they like it.

"We had no other option than opening up the power sector for private producers, as we are unable to meet the committed load of 125 MW for the new industrial units sanctioned by the government", claims Mauvin Godinho, the state power minister.

The state is presently getting only 180 MW of power from the national grid while power consumption has crossed the mark long ago. This has obviously resulted into regular power shedding and voltage fluctuations, affecting the industrial scenario.

In addition, its total sanction has reached 445 MVA against its capacity to provide only 190 MVA of power. It includes 12 high tension connections of 100 MVA and 46 new units, requiring 120 MVA of power.

With the five-year tax holiday being declared for the industrially backward state, Goa welcomed several kind of new industries in last four years. The ruling Congress is presently trying hard to get the holiday extended for another five years.

"They invited this chaos with their own deeds", alleges Parag Joshi, president of the Goa Small Industries Association. "Despite knowing the power crisis, they have permitted 16 power guzzling Ferro Alloy units, for which power is the raw material", he adds.

The small scale industrialists, who are running 5000 units by using only 25 MW of power, are now strongly demanding withholding of all sanctions till the situation normalises.

They also doubt whether the government proposal would receive positive response as the government has refused to provide bank guarantee to the power producers to set up these plants.

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