Bihar to relinquish 832 MW power from NTPC, allays fears of shortage - Hindustan Times
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Bihar to relinquish 832 MW power from NTPC, allays fears of shortage

By, Patna
Oct 21, 2023 09:34 PM IST

BSPHCL, in an email to the NTPC, has said it was exiting from the over 25-year-old bulk power supply agreement from two units of Farakka and one unit of the Kahalgaon super thermal power plants.

The Bihar State Power (Holding) Company Limited (BSPHCL) on Friday sent a confirmation to surrender from Sunday 832 MW power from the NTPC quota of 7001 MW thermal power to the state, said power officials.

The NTPC power plant at Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur district of Bihar. (HT file)
The NTPC power plant at Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur district of Bihar. (HT file)

The BSPHCL, in an email to the NTPC, said it was exiting from the over 25-year-old bulk power supply agreement from two units of Farakka and one unit of the Kahalgaon super thermal power plants (STPP).

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“The scheduling is being done with an understanding that from 00:00 hrs of October 22 onwards, NTPC won’t be providing declared capacity (DC) to Bihar discoms from Farakka stage I & II and Kahalgaon stage I units,” said the e-mail from the BSPHCL.

The BSPHCL had, on April 21, served NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation) the mandatory six-month notice to exit from the agreement to avail of power from the Farakka and Kahalgaon plants.

The BSPHCL defended its decision, saying it had to pay fixed cost even if it did not avail of power from the two plants.

“We will save up to 521 crore annually by surrendering power from Farakka and Kahalgaon plants,” said Abhijeet Kumar, chief engineer, power management cell, BSPHCL.

Quoting the Eastern Regional Power Committee (ERPC) website, he said the average cost of purchasing power from the two STPPs was 4.44 per unit, of which the average cost of power from Farakka was 4.38 and 4.50 from Kahalgaon. The fixed charge, as per ERPC website, was 0.8 from Farakka and 1.05 from Kahalgaon.

Kumar allayed fears of any power shortage in the state.

“We have an average peak load demand of 5400-5700 MW between 6pm and 10pm, against an average daily power supply of 6000-6300 MW. Our demand goes down to 4000-4500 MW during off-peak hours, when the supply is 5500 MW,” said Kumar.

“Our demand has gone down against availability of power. We have surplus power most of the time during the day. Unless there is sudden breakdown of some power plants, there is no reason of power shortage, especially during winter,” he added.

As part of contingency plan, the BSPHCL will buy power from open energy exchange, should the need arise, he said.

The per unit rate at Indian Energy Exchange (IEE) hovers between 7 and 9 during peak hours against the NTPC’s average per unit rate of 4.44. A couple of years back, the peak hour rate would go up to 24 per unit before the Centre put a cap at 10 for thermal power and 12 per unit for gas.

Kumar said Bihar had already signed power purchase agreements (PPA) to buy 2093 MW from five different sources between January 2024 and March 2025.

“As per the revised commissioning date of plants, we will get 295 MW from the North Karanpura thermal power plant from January 1 next year; 561 MW from unit I of the SJVN plant in Buxar from March 1, 2024; 561 MW from unit II of the SJVN from June 1, 2024; 295 MW from unit III of the North Karanpura plant from July 1, 2024; and 381 MW from unit III of stage I of the Barh super critical thermal power plant from March 1, 2025,” he added.

In addition to thermal power, Bihar has also signed pacts for 1540 MW of renewable energy through solar and hydel power by 2025.

Confirming Bihar’s decision to relinquish 832 MW power from the Farakka and Kahalgaon power plants, NTPC spokesperson Vishwanath Chandan said, “We will offer the remaining beneficiary states to schedule the unallocated power, released by Bihar, or else sell the available power in open market.”

The beneficiary states of Farakka are Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana and Assam. UP, Haryana, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir and Rajasthan are the beneficiary states of Kahalgaon.

Union power minister RK Singh had last August said at a programme in Barh that Bihar was among three states in India that was resorting to power-shedding despite India being power surplus.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Ruchir writes on health, aviation, power and myriad other issues. An ex-TOI, he has worked both on Desk and in reporting. He over 25 years of broadcast and print journalism experience in Assam, Jharkhand & Bihar.

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