• Allow PSUs to sell power on exchanges sans States’ nod: Piyush Goyal

    Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday called for the “immediate” implementation of a policy allowing public sector power generators like NTPC to sell surplus power on exchanges without waiting for permission from the State governments.

    “Can we have the policy implemented immediately, that if the State does not say ‘no’, then even NTPC should be allowed to sell surplus power on the exchange,” Mr. Goyal asked officials of his Ministry gathered for the Indian Power Stations Conference 2017 organised by NTPC. “That way, unless the State expressly objects, you have an automatic approval to sell the power.”

    The Power Minister said that he doesn’t expect States to object to the policy because it would only benefit them by reducing the costs and losses to the States. He further asked his Ministry officials to speak to the State government representatives as soon as possible and get the policy in place soon.

    “And with enough power on the exchange, should the States feel a need, then they can buy power from the exchange, it’s not a big deal,” Mr. Goyal said. “But more often than not, they will save money.”

    Mr. Goyal said that the decision to implement such a policy was made during the monsoon of last year. “And if it has taken five months to go ahead with it, then I am not happy,” he added. “The speed of decision making is the essence of good governance.”

    Plant renovation

    Mr. Goyal also said that NTPC should not incur any more expenditure on the renovation of power plants older than 25 years. He said that he had already asked NTPC to replace 11,000 MW worth of plant capacity that is older than 25 years.

    Mr. Goyal added that companies will incur only a nominal increase in their capital expenditure if they replace old plants with new ones with modern technology.

    “Power companies will not incur more than ?4,000 crore per megawatt if they replace old plants,” he said. Justin Schultz Jersey

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