The association said it appears that NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) will use discounted coal purchased from Coal India to generate electricity for export to Bangladesh, which should have ideally been supplied to domestic consumers.
NVVN has signed a long-term agreement with BPDB for supply of 300 MW of electricity. The supplies are set to start soon.
“Fuel for cross-border supply of power should be sourced either from eauction or imports,” said Ashok Khurana, director-general at Association of Power Producers. “The power exporter should give an undertaking that they will not use coal procured from Coal India through longterm supply agreement since such coal is supplied at discount and is meant for generating power that is to be supplied to Indian consumers only.”
ET contacted several senior executives at NTPC but they refused comment for this story.
Aformer NTPC executive, however, said the Centre’s policy for exporting power stipulates that one-time approval is required for exporting electricity by discoms or public sector entities if surplus capacity is available and it is certified by a distribution licensee. He also said any coalbased Indian thermal project other than a public sector undertaking will be eligible for power exports to neighbouring countries only if surplus capacity is certified by a designated authority.
“As per the current regulations, discoms can participate against tenders issued by neighbouring country and can sell power from their pool surplus since there are set procedures and rules on the same. It is also understood that cross-border policy is also under review,” he said.
A power sector executive said almost 250 MW power is flowing to Bangladesh from West Bengal’s power pool since October 2013. “Their contract has been extended several times and there is no mention of source of coal for generation of power for export in the guidelines,” this executive said.
But in a letter to the power ministry, the Association of Power Producers has argued that the conditions of BPDB bid were such that they would require NVVN to use coal supplied through fuel supply agreements or procured from captive mines. NVVN will thus be using coal meant for generating power for consumption in India only, it said. The letter also mentioned that the bid conditions required consent from the relevant authority of the Indian government on whether the power generated from the respective power plant using domestic coal can be exported to Bangladesh throughout the contract period.
“It is likely that this requirement has not been adhered to uniformly by all bidders,” the association said in the letter, reviewed by ET. “This means that any bidder securing BPDB bid based on coal procured at notified price for power generation, or from captive mines, would lock in part domestic coal resources for external consumption for 13 years, thus hampering domestic consumers’ interest and would be in violation of policy framework.”
The association has requested the ministry to issue instructions so that coal meant for power generation and supply to Indian consumers is not utilised for BPDB long-term tenders.
It has also requested the ministry to issue necessary clarification so that cross-border power supply is done only with imported or coal procured from e-auctions.
According to recent reports, BPDB invited tender for supply of 500MW power from India under short-term (June 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019) and long-term (January 1, 2020 to May 31, 2033) contracts. The bid for this tender was submitted on January 11.
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