Private power producers urge Tangedco to clear dues early

The private power producers’ association has urged Tangedco’s CMD Pankaj Kumar Bansal to help settle their dues soon by availing the second tranche of the Centre’s liquidity infusion scheme for uninterrupted power supply during election.

The Centre had announced a liquidity infusion scheme as a part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat package to help distribution companies overcome the crisis caused by the pandemic. The scheme enables discoms to avail of loans from Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and the Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and clear the dues of the central generation and transmission companies, independent power producers and renewable energy generators.

Tangedco was sanctioned ₹30,230 crore under the package out of which ₹11,091 crore had been disbursed as on January 27, according to the information provided in the Rajya Sabha last month.

According to power producers’ body, Tangedco has disbursed the tranche 1 payment, which is 50% of energy dues in December 2020.

“Our members are waiting to receive the tranche 2 (i.e., balance 50%) payment through the scheme so as to enable them to meet their various back-to-back obligations pertaining to plant operations, debt servicing and other lender covenants,” Ashok Khurana, Director General, Association of Power Producers, said in his letter to Tangedco.

“Given the impending elections in Tamil Nadu, our members are keen to ensure uninterrupted power supply to Tangedco without resorting to invocation of Letter of Credit to avail payment or reporting the matter to Power System Operation Corporation Limited (which is national load despatch centre) to avoid triggering undesirable consequences,” the letter added. As of January 2021, Tangedco had outstanding dues of ₹19,325 crore to power producers, according to data available on Union Power Ministry’s PRAAPTI (Payment Ratification and Analysis in Power Procurement for bringing Transparency in Invoicing of generators) portal.

The Union Ministry of Power has said that discoms have to comply with certain conditions to avail of the second tranche. With the moral code of conduct in place for the assembly election, it is likely to take longer for Tangedco to meet the requirements.

Mr. Khurana also pointed out that in case the availing of tranche 2 is going to take longer, Tangedco could look at alternative options like it did in case of renewable generators. “We understand that recently tranche 2 payments were released to renewable generators, through the facility availed by Tangedco from Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited,” he noted in the letter.

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