The past year was marked by significant activity by players across the power generation, transmission and distribution segments. In the generation segment, NTPC Limited and NHPC Limited emerged as the top performers adding the highest capacities in the coal and hydro power segments. (No new capacity addition took place in the gas or nuclear power segment.) In the transmission segment, the country’s largest power transmission company, Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (Powergrid) retained the top slot. Meanwhile, in the distribution segment, state discom Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Company was the leading utility in terms of the lowest aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses, while Kanpur Electricity Supply Company Limited recorded the lowest gap between average cost of supply (ACS) and average revenue realised (ARR), another key discom health parameter.
Indian Infrastructure takes a look at the top performers in terms of capacity addition in the sector during 2017-18…
The coal-based power generation segment saw a total capacity addition of 8,710 MW in 2017-18. The country’s largest power generator NTPC Limited added the maximum capacity with a total addition of 3,170 MW (including those under joint ventures [JVs]) during the period. In fact, the entire central sector capacity addition during the year came from NTPC. The projects commissioned by NTPC included the Kudgi superthermal power plant (STPP), Phase 1 (Unit 3, 800 MW), Lara thermal power plant (TPP) (Unit 1, 800 MW) and Solapur TPP (Unit 1, 660 MW). Further, it also commissioned the Meja STPP (Unit 1, 660 MW), which is being implemented in a JV with Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited and the Nabinagar TPP (Unit 2, 250 MW) being implemented in a JV with Indian Railways. With the commissioning of these projects, NTPC’s installed capacity is now over 53 GW. The company operates 21 coal-based, 7 gas-based, 11 solar, 1 hydro, and 1 wind power plants apart from the 9 power projects operated by subsidiaries or in JV.
In the state sector, 1,760 MW of capacity was added in 2017-18. This was added by Rajasthan Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited (Unit 5 of 660 MW, Chhabra TPP), Bihar State Power Generation Company Limited (Unit 8 of 500 MW, Barauni TPP) and Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation Limited (Unit 6 of 600 MW, Rayalaseema TPP).
In 2017-18, the highest coal-based capacity addition across sectors was by private players at 3,780 MW. Eight players commissioned capacities during the year, of which RattanIndia Power Limited added the highest capacity commissioning three units of 270 MW each of the Nasik TPP (Phase I). Prayagraj Power Generation Company Limited, a subsidiary of Jaiprakash Power Ventures Limited (JPVL), added 660 MW by commissioning Unit 3 of the Bara TPP.
Other private players that commissioned projects were SKS Ispat and Power Limited (600 MW), KSK Mahanadi (600 MW), RKM Powergen Private Limited (360 MW), Haldia Energy Limited (300 MW), ACB India Limited (300 MW) and Shirpur Power Private Limited (150 MW).
A total of 795 MW of hydro capacity was added in the country during 2017-18, of which the largest contribution was by NHPC Limited, which added 330 MW of hydropower to its installed base. NHPC commissioned three units of 110 MW of the Kishanganga hydroelectric project (HEP) in Bandipora district of Jammu & Kashmir. Besides NHPC, another central sector player which added capacity during the year was North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited which commissioned the Tuirial HEP with an installed capacity of 60 MW (2×30 MW) in Mizoram.
State players added around 200 MW during the year. Of these, the key contribution was by Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited with the commissioning of the 100 MW Sainj HEP. Meanwhile, Meghalaya Power Generation Corporation Limited commissioned two units of the New Umtru HEP, adding 40 MW to the state’s hydro capacity and another 60 MW came from two units of Telangana State Power Generation Corporation Limited’s Pulichintala HEP.
The private sector contributed 205 MW of hydro capacity addition in 2017-18. Shiga Energy Private Limited, an independent power producer, commissioned the highest capacity in this segment with the 97 MW Tashiding HEP in West Sikkim district. Sneha Kinetic Power Projects Private Limited, a special purpose vehicle (SPV), added 96 MW with the commissioning of the Dikchu hydropower project in Sikkim. The remaining hydro capacity was added by another SPV, IA Energy, by commissioning the 12 MW Chanju I hydropower project in Himachal Pradesh.
Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (Powergrid), the country’s central transmission utility, continued to be the top performer in terms of network addition. In 2017-18, it added over 8,800 ckt. km of transmission line length of the total length of over 23,000 ckt. km that was commissioned. Powergrid commissioned several lines during the year, of which the highest addition was over 3,200 ckt. km at the 765 kV level. Another central sector agency to add capacity during the year was Damodar Valley Corporation. Amongst the state transcos, those of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh added more than 60 per cent of the line length in the state sector.
In the private sector, Western Uttar Pradesh Power Transmission Company Limited (a subsidiary of Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited) added the maximum transmission line length of 622 ckt. km. Leading private transco Sterlite Grid also contributed significantly to the private sector’s line length addition by completing 607 ckt. km of lines during the year, while Essel Infraprojects added around 579 ckt. km.
In the distribution segment, the top five discoms based on the lowest AT&C losses were Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Company, Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited, Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company Limited, Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited and Madhya Gujarat Vij Company Limited (based on data available for 45 discoms, as of December 2017). Meanwhile, discoms with the lowest ACS-ARR gap were Kanpur Electricity Supply Company Limited (surplus of Rs 1.09 per unit), Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (surplus of Re 0.50 per unit), Madhya Pradesh Paschim Kshetra Vidyut Vitaran Company Limited (surplus of Re 0.38 per unit), Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation (surplus of Re 0.27 per unit) and Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited (surplus of Re 0.10 per unit). Overall, there were 12 discoms which had an ARR higher than or equal to the ACS during the period.
The year 2017-18 witnessed high capacity and network additions. Private players have taken a step forward but still have a long way to go. The fact remains that a large number of private sector players still face challenges, particularly coal-based power producers. To ensure that they continue to contribute to the sector’s growth in the long term, significant policy and regulatory reforms will be needed to alleviate their stress related to offtake risks, fuel shortages, regulatory concerns, etc.