Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004
Industry & Economy
AP: PLF assessment of biomass plants to be done monthly
Hyderabad , Aug. 1
IT will be back to old times for biomass power plants in Andhra Pradesh as far as the assessment of their plant load factor (PLF) is concerned.
Henceforth, they will be assessed on the basis of the power generated and exported monthly, and not half-hourly as is being done now. The Andhra Pradesh Transmission Corporation (APTransco) has been directed by the Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, on Monday to follow this route.
The Biomass Energy Developers Association (BEDA) and the APTransco officials had a detailed discussion on various problems faced by them with the Chief Minister. For most issues, which were in court, Dr Reddy asked the officials to seek legal opinion and help the developers.
As far as the tariff offered to biomass plants is concerned, the Chief Minister said the developers could plead their case before the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC).
The BEDA leaders said by using the biomass in 37 units of installed capacity of 200.75 MW, 1200 million units (MUs) of power was being generated annually. In the process, these plants could help bring down transmission and distribution losses by 6.7 per cent, provide direct and indirect employment for 1,38,00,000 mandays, ensure market to biomass generated in agriculture lands etc. They urged the Government to help them by announcing a reasonable tariff.
On Saturday, the Union Minister of State for Non-Conventional Energy Sources, Mr Vilas Muttemwar, had said here that biomass power producers in the State were facing problems such as reduction in tariff rates and inspection of the plant load factor (PLF) every half-an-hour for tariff fixation.
He wanted the State Government to reconsider the rules that were making the functioning of biomass power plants unviable. The Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission, based on recommendations made by the Transmission Corporation of Andhra Pradesh, reduced the purchase price per unit of biomass power from Rs 3.48 paise to Rs 2.84 paise per unit at 80 per cent PLF and Rs 1.47 paise per unit for the next 20 per cent PLF.
The State Government had also imposed a ban on third party sale, raised wheeling charges from 2 per cent to 28.4 per cent and asked the biomass power producers to pay 50 paise surcharge on each unit of power produced.
When asked whether the Centre would consider payment to the biomass power producers the difference amount in the actual purchase price of Rs 2.84 per unit and the original recommended price of Rs 3.51 as a part of its policy to promote generation of non-conventional energy, the Minister said that it was not possible. He would, however, take up the issue with the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh.
On Friday last, members of the Biomass Energy Developers Association of Andhra Pradesh, staged a protest before the office of APTransco. They had also made a representation to the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and the Prime Minister recently stating, "Please take back our industries and return our investments."
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