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NTPC powers India ahead despite coal & input crisis

NTPC powers India ahead despite coal & input crisis
Country’s largest power producer NTPC’s net profit dipped by 5 per cent to Rs 2,944.03 crore in the fourth quarter ended March, 2014-15 on stringent CERC tariff norms and higher depreciation under new accounting rules.

Its net profit in the January-March quarter of the previous fiscal, 2013-14, was Rs 3,093.54 crore. The company’s turnover also declined to Rs 19,314.58 crore in January-March quarter of 2014-15, from Rs 20,939,08 crore in the year-ago period. NTPC said in a statement that as per power sector regulator Central Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (CERC) tariff regulation effective from 2014-15 to 2018-19, the financial incentives are to be based on actual generation of power than on the basis of available generation capacity.

It has linked the financial incentives to power producers with the purchase of electricity by power distribution companies. In <g data-gr-id="44">present</g> scenario, as <g data-gr-id="43">discoms</g> (power distribution firms) always have funds crunch to buy electricity, power producer’s generation capacity remains below the installed capacity. 

NPTC has filed a petition in the Delhi High court, contesting Regulation 2014 of CERC, said the statement. Also, NPTC said it has revised its accounting policy for depreciation of certain assets in alignment with Schedule-II of the Companies Act 2013 effective from April 1, 2014. “Consequently profit for the year ended March 31, 2015, lower by Rs 14.97 crore and fixed assets as at March 31, 2015 are lower by Rs 20.44 crore,” the statement said.

For the entire fiscal 2014-15, the state-run firm’s net profit fell by 6.3 per cent to Rs 10,290.86 crore. The net profit was at Rs 10,974.74 crore in 2013-14. Company’s consolidated net profit also dropped to Rs 9,986.34 crore in 2014-15, from Rs 11,403.61 crore in 2013-14. However, consolidated total income has increased to Rs 82,700.95 crore in 2014-15 from Rs 81,710.75 crore 2013-14. 

The company’s plant load factor (PLF) during January-March quarter was 82.88 per cent for <g data-gr-id="35">coal based</g> plants and 26.68 per cent for gas-based plants. The PLF was at 88.70 per cent and 35.64 per cent respectively in <g data-gr-id="38">same</g> period a year ago.

Similarly, PLF in 2014-15 was 80.23 per cent for <g data-gr-id="46">coal based</g> plants and 32.93 per cent for gas based plants compared with 81.50 per cent and 35.72 per cent in 2013-14. PLF is a measure of average capacity utilisation. The power company has <g data-gr-id="50">total</g> installed power generation capacity of 44,398 MW. 

During 2014-15, its average tariff was Rs 3.28 per unit. NPTC shares closed 1.26 per cent higher at Rs 136.70 a piece on BSE on Friday. Meanwhile, as CIL decision to offer coal to NTPC comes under high court’s radar, the PSU on Friday said the proposed pact with the power producer is a long-term arrangement and will depend upon the availability of coal. It may be noted that the Delhi High Court on May 25 asked CIL how it was offering coal from two Chhattisgarh mines to NTPC when it had cited production issues to cancel an e-auction of 49,000 metric tonnes (MT) of the mineral, mined from the same Gare Palma IV/2&3 blocks.

In the coal auction earlier this year, Jindal Steel & Power (JPL) had emerged as the highest bidder for Gare Palma IV/2&3 blocks. However, the mines were not allotted to the company. The proposed MoU between South Eastern Coalfields (SECL), a CIL arm, and NTPC is yet to be finalised for Barh-II power plant from Gare Palma mines, CIL said in a BSE filing. Coal India (CIL) further clarified that delivery order for e-auction from Gare Palma IV/2&3 mine was cancelled as the “consent to operate” for the mines was awaited from Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board. 
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