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Power purchase audit shows PSPCL suffered loss of Rs.1741.62 crore during 2010-13
Power purchase audit shows that Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) suffered a loss of Rs. 1741.82 crore in three years period of 2010-13 due to inefficient planning of power purchase. These are the findings of ABPS Infrastructure which was engaged by Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) to carry out study on power purchase and related matters of PSPCL. PSERC has now invited comments from public on the report up to March 28.

The failure of PSPCL to accurately assess the availability of power from new generating stations led to increase in short term power purchases and resulted in financial implication of RS. 745.62 crore in 2010-11, Rs. 229.62 crore in 2011-12 and Rs. 491.59 crore in 2012-13 with the cumulative implication of Rs. 1466.83 crore in three years period.

PSPCL procures power from various sources other than own thermal units, central generating stations, energy banking arrangements and short term power purchases through traders to bridge the gap between demand and supply during paddy season from June to October.

The audit report has observed that the actual average rate of power purchase during 2010-11 from other sources is Rs. 5.15 per unit against commissions approved rate of Rs. 3.12 per unit.

In this year short term power purchase to power purchase under spot purchase including over drawls from grid was estimated as 60:40 but actually it turned out to be 73:27.This ratio for 2011-12 was 96:4 against projection of 80:20.

PSPCL has been purchasing expensive power from natural gas and liquid fuel based stations for all these years where average variable cost exceeded Rs. 8 per unit. The option of purchasing power through exchanges would have been better option.

PSPCL over drew power from grid and it has to pay Rs. 507.54 crore in 2010-11, Rs. 284.09 crore in 2012-13 and it received Rs. 48.98 crore in 2011-12 for surrendering power in grid. The overall financial impact for three years comes to be Rs. 742.65 crore. 

During February 2011, January 2012 and February 2013 although net over drawl was in negative yet PSPCL paid about Rs. 12 crore and this points out that poor planning on the part of PSPCL

Even in case of banking arrangement these has been signed through intermediary traders who receive a trading margin of 3 paise per unit. PSPCL should have directly negotiated the banking arrangements and avoided payment of commission. 

It has been observed that PSPCL had been over drawing from grid and resorting to load shedding when simultaneously power was being exported under banking obligations. This points to clear lack of vision in planning.

The actual generation from thermal generating generations for all three years was lower than the generation approved by Commission. PSPCL backed down its own thermal units during some hours of some months.

Moreover generation loss due to backing down of units has been more in case of Lehra Mohabatt thermal plant against similar loss at Ropar thermal plant. The cost of power at Lehra Mohabatt thermal plant is less as compared to Ropar thermal plant. PSPCL is not following the merit order while backing down its own units.

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