Power purchase curbs on Andhra Pradesh lifted after reconciliation of dues on payment portal

AP Discoms resume trading on power exchanges; Telangana threatens contempt proceedings if prevented from buying power.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Aug 19, 2022 | 4:19 PM Updated Aug 20, 2022 | 6:16 PM

Power_Grid

The Andhra Pradesh government has overcome the restriction imposed on it on the purchase of power from power exchanges. The National Load Dispatch Centre under the Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) of the Union Power Ministry, allowed the state to trade power on power exchanges.

The restriction was lifted after a report of the reconciliation of the dues paid by the state to power generators was communicated to the PRAAPTI portal (Power Procurement for Bringing Transparency in Invoicing of Generators). From midnight of 18/19 August, Andhra Pradesh Discoms resumed trading activity on exchanges.

The direction to impose a restriction on power trading was sent to the exchanges with PRAAPTI showing dues to generators as unpaid when all the dues had already been cleared. On 18 August, the portal showed ₹412 crore as dues to the generators, but they were already paid much earlier.

The state government, in an official note, said that AP Discoms had strictly followed Late Payment Surcharge (LPS) rules of 2022 and there were no over dues pending as on date to the generators. The second instalment, under the LPS scheme, will be on 5 September.

“The AP Discoms liquidated all the generator dues up to May 30 under LPS scheme. The total dues that were covered under LPS scheme were ₹17,074.9 crore, the press release said on Friday, 19 August.

The Union Power Ministry earlier issued a direction to the power exchanges to stop selling power to distribution companies in 13 states, including Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka, to clear their dues to generators or face restriction on purchase of power on the exchanges.

Situation is Telangana

In the case of Telangana, the situation has become piquant as the state claims that it has cleared all the dues of about ₹1,380 crore at one go on Wednesday, 17 August.

And yet, POSOCO, which works under the Union Power Ministry, has asked the power utilities, including in Telangana, to pay up the entire due amount or face restriction on the purchase of power from the exchanges from midnight Thursday.

Telangana power utilities are planning to file contempt proceedings in the state high court on Monday since, in April, when the Centre served a similar order, the court had ruled that no inconvenience should be caused to Telangana, pending disposal of the petition.

Power consumption on the rise

The Telangana government, of late, has been purchasing about 20 million units per day from the exchanges, which it will not be able to purchase now.

As a result, the state would have to make good the gap in demand and supply by stepping up hydel generation from both the Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar projects and by imposing cuts to three-phase power supply to farm wells.

Compared to last year, power demand in Telangana has gone up sharply.

It was 8,500 MW on 18 August, 2021, but it shot up to 12,114 MW the same day this year. The demand has gone up on account of an increase in the use of power for agriculture operations and for domestic use, which has spiked with the increasing day temperature

After the receipt of the POSOCO order, the Telangana power distribution companies it sent a mail that all payments indicated in the portal — called Payment Ratification and Analysis in Power Procurement for Bringing Transparency in Invoicing of Generators (PRAAPTI) — have been cleared and the restriction on the selling of power by exchanges may be lifted.

In its order, POSOCO ordered the three power exchanges — Indian Energy Exchange (IEX), Power Exchange India (PXIL) and Hindustan Power Exchange (HPX) — to stop trading by 27 discoms in the 13 states for pending dues towards power generation stations.

The states are Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Naidu, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Manipur, Jammu and Kashmir, and Mizoram.