Declining power demand hits UPPCL revenue

| | Lucknow
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Declining power demand hits UPPCL revenue

Thursday, 26 March 2020 | PNS | Lucknow

The lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus has resulted in sharp decline in the energy demand owing to the continuing industrial and commercial shutdown.

The revenue of UP Power Corporation Limited and its four subsidiaries is expected to be adversely affected and this will further worsen their already precarious financial condition.

At a pan-India level, the power demand has already fallen by more than 20 per cent to 1,21,937 megawatt from 1,54,045 MW.

All-India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) chairmen Shailendra Dubey said the energy demand had fallen considerably in the country, and this posed a serious challenge to the commercial viability of these discoms, most of which are state owned and operated.

“We have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union energy minister and sought moratorium on the payment under the power purchase agreements (PPA) signed with the power generating companies during the entire lockdown period, since the energy requirement has gone down significantly and these payments are elements of a fixed cost for the discoms,” Dubey said here on Wednesday.

“If the relief is not extended to the power distribution companies urgently, they would not be able to pay salaries to their staff since the power consumers, especially those belonging to the lower strata, have not being paying their electricity bills due to the lockdown,” he added.

Following the gradual lockdown announced across different states, the energy demand has fallen due to the total shutdown of high power consuming industrial and commercial sectors and railways operations, thus affecting the major source of discoms’ revenues.

According to the Northern Region Load Dispatch Centre (NRLDC) website, the power demand in the region has drastically fallen by more than 11,000 MW—  from 41,253 MW to 30,563 MW — in five days. The power supply on Tuesday stood at 6,950 lakh units compared to 8,660 lakh units on March 20.

“In Punjab, power demand came down to 2,900 MW on Tuesday from 5,000 MW last Friday, with the power supply getting reduced to 700 lakh units from 1,050 lakh units. There is a sharp dip of 350 lakh units per day consumed by Railways, industry and commercial establishments as well and the daily revenue loss is estimated at Rs 20 crore a day for Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL),” Dubey said.

Similarly in Haryana, power supply on Tuesday stood at 850 lakh units against 1,175 lakh units on March 20. The power demand fell to 3,800 MW from 5,800 MW over the past five days with the state discom witnessing revenue loss of nearly Rs 18 crore a day.

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