New Delhi

The Power Ministry has set up the Thermal Power Monitoring Group (TPMG) that will regularly track the progress of upcoming thermal power plants (TPPs) in the country.

The development assumes significance as the Ministry has planned to add a total of 80 gigawatts (GW) of thermal capacity by FY32 in line with a growing appetite for electricity from commercial and industrial (C&I) as well as households with peak power demand expected to rise to 366 gigawatts (GW) by 2032 from 240 GW in 2023.

Power Minister R K Singh approved the setting up of an independent TPMG, which will conduct site inspections and provide assessment of each site of the TPP under implementation by a central or State utility and Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

The 8-member TPMG will be headed by the Central Electricity Authority’s (CEA) member (Thermal). The members also include a Chief Engineer or higher-level officer from the CEA.

Besides, six retired senior officers from the CEA, NTPC and Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) will also be part of the panel and will be selected by the Ministry.

Welcoming the development, Arindam Ghosh, Partner Power Advisory, Nangia Andersen India, said an institutionalised structure along with close monitoring mechanism is essential to ensure that targeted capacity addition is achieved.

“In addition to the stated constitution, it is recommended that the group should also include members from other functional ministries such as Finance, Coal, Environment, DPIIT, etc. This will help to have an overall view of the capacity additions and engage with all stakeholders. The proposed group can also have representation from states, financiers, manufacturers, project developers system integrators and experts with domain expertise for ensuring holistic ecosystem development,” he suggested.

Terms of reference

TPMG members will visit the TPPs under implementation inspection to observe first-hand progress made by the project developers and based on their assessment, will submit a progress report to the group.

The TPMG will compare the progress report with the progress being reported by project proponents directly to the CEA. Based on both, the authority will submit a realistic position about the progress during the capacity addition review meetings.

The members will also hold deliberations with key members involved in the project, including project managers and contractors, to gather insights into the progress and identify any issues affecting its timeline.

The members can also share their insight into any hindrance that the project may face in future based on their assessment. They may also provide suggestions for improvement in project implementation to the TPMG.

The high-level panel will identify challenges being encountered during the implementation phase and evaluate the effectiveness of the mitigation strategies employed by the developers.

The TPMG will prepare a detailed report outlining the findings of the site visit and progress review, including observations and any deviations from the proposed timelines.

The Members have to submit a progress review report within seven working days after a site visit. The group also has to appraise the progress of the project to the Ministry after every visit.