'Surplus' claims fall flat, PSPCL spends Rs 4 billion to buy power
With only two of the seven units of private thermal power plants in the state currently generating electricity, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has again been forced to buy power from external sources on short-term basis by shelling out Rs 400 crore. Sources said PSPCL had signed a short-term agreement with external sources to bridge the demand-supply gap in August. As of now, only Rajpura thermal plant, among three private plants of Punjab, is generating power. On the other hand, Talwandi Sabo thermal plant has stopped generation, after remaining operational for few weeks, due to dearth of coal. The third private plant at Goindwal Sahib is yet to start power generation on commercial scale.
Sources said PSPCL has tied up for short-term power purchase of 1,350 MW (324 lakh units) daily from August 1 to 17; 1,360 MW (326 LUs) daily from August 18 to 22 and 1,340 MW (322 LUs) daily from August 23 to 31 from a private company. "Total 1,000 LUs will be purchased during August at the rate of Rs 4 per unit in the short-term at a cost of Rs 400 crore. The average per unit cost of short-term power purchase is much higher than generation cost of state's own thermal plants. Variable cost of per unit power generation in state-run thermal plants of Punjab is Rs 2.60 whereas overall cost is Rs 3.60," said a senior PSPCL engineer.