CERC turns down private firms’ plea against NTPC

Siddhartha P. Saikia New Delhi | Updated on April 30, 2013

In a major boost to NTPC, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has rejected a petition filed by private power producers alleging that the public sector power producer is abusing its dominant position.

The regulator also did not see any need to refer the submission, made under the banner of Association of Power Producers (APP), to the Competition Commission of India.

Joint petition

“We hold that the power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed by NTPC are within the framework and time permitted under the Tariff Policy and, therefore, no direction is called for under Section 60 of the Act. The petitioner has requested that the matter be referred to the Competition Commission of India under Section 21 of the Competition Act, 2002. In view of our finding hereinabove, we do not consider it necessary to refer the matter to the Competition Commission of India for its opinion,” CERC said in its order of April 26.

As many as 12 power producers, including Adani Power, AES (India), CLP Power India, Reliance Power, Essar Power, GMR Energy, Tata Power, GVK Gautami Power, Indiabulls Power, Jindal Power, JSW Energy and Lanco Infratech, made a joint petition before the CERC seeking rejection of NTPC’s PPAs signed with its customers during October 1, 2010 to January 5, 2011.

Not dominant

The power producers also sought a direction from the regulator to ensure that NTPC did not abuse its dominant position as a producer and supplier while entering into such PPAs.

CERC noted that NTPC’s share of the country’s installed power generation capacity was only 19.5 per cent, which cannot be considered as market dominant. Also, between 2005 and 2011, the PPAs signed by NTPC were for 52,000 MW, about 50 per cent less than the commissioned and under-construction capacity of private players, aggregating to 105,000 MW.

Therefore, the private producers’ claim that their operations were affected by NTPC’s PPAs were untenable, the regulator said.

Published on April 30, 2013

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