One of the two state-owned power distribution companies in Haryana, Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitaran Nigam Ltd, has become the first power utility to turn around under rescue scheme Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojna (UDAY), rolled out in November 2015, raising hopes that fortunes of the entire electricity value chain including of coal mining and power generation will benefit from better electricity demand in coming days.
An analysis of the financial health of the utility released by the power ministry on Thursday said the company has reported “remarkable achievement of turnaround” from a loss of Rs479 crore in 2015-16 to a profit of Rs201.35 crore in the first half of 2016-17.
Turnaround of distressed state power distribution firms is crucial for the health of other segments of the electricity value chain which depends on power offtake. Better power demand from distribution firms will help generation companies, especially thermal power plants, to step up their capacity utilisation which is currently at about 60%. Coal demand, too has been sluggish in the past as loss making distribution firms were not able to cater to the actual energy demand.
Monthly coal production recovered from a contraction and grew for the first time in three months in November, indicating improving power demand during winter.
As per data from state-owned monopoly Coal India Ltd (CIL), monthly production grew 5.3% to 50 million tonnes in November from a year ago, after a bearish trend in mining since August when output had shrunk by 10%.
The power ministry analysis said that the Haryana utility still has to improve upon its performance in meeting the target of lowering losses on account of billing inefficiency and power theft.
The UDAY scheme rolled out last November gave performance and efficiency improvement targets to loss making utilities in order to narrow their gap between cost of power supply and the price realised from consumers. Their accumulated debt up to September 2015 was allowed to be taken over by respective state governments to make available low cost credit.
Haryana’s second distribution firm, Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitaran Nigam Ltd, however, continued to make losses in the first half of this year. It reported a loss of Rs1,233 crore in the first half against the loss of Rs336 crore in the full year of 2015-16, said the analysis. Carl Banks Womens JerseyShare This