Millennium Post

Uncertainty holding up investments in hydel projects, says Goyal

Many hydel power projects are facing hurdles, resulting in long delays and stoppage of works.
“There is uncertainty over hydro power projects...Investors are not ready to make investments,” said Goyal, who is also in charge of Coal and New and Renewable Energy Ministries.

Even though existing hydel projects are generating electricity at cheaper rates, he said many new ones are stuck and cited the examples of Subansiri (Assam) and Teesta (Sikkim) plants, among others.

“Different projects are stuck due to different reasons,” he said and cited politics, environmental issues and court rulings being among the various reasons.

He assured that government would make efforts to start hydel projects once the “uncertainty” is over.

At the end of January, installed hydro power generation capacity in the country stood at nearly
41,000 MW.

Noting that the House needs to have a discussion on hydel projects in the country, Goyal said many regions including North East and Uttarakhand have significant hydro potential.

To a query on Green Energy Corridor project, Goyal said synchronisation of renewable power under this programme is yet to start as implementation is at different stages.

The project, being done with soft loan assistance from German lender KfW, would cover Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and J&K.

“Green Energy Corridor project will help in grid stability by way of evacuating renewable power from the generation points to load centres with creation of additional and adequate transmission capacity,” the Minister said.

KfW would provide a concessional loan of 1 billion Euros, over the next six years, to augment and strengthen power transmission infrastructure for evacuating renewable energy.

Besides, Germany’s GIZ has agreed to provide technical assistance of 2 million euros for forecasting, balancing, market design and network management related to grid integration of renewable power.

The Minister also appreciated the Tamil Nadu government and former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, whom he addressed as ‘Amma’, for giving thrust to renewable energy in the state.

States seek transfer of Rs 6,150 cr coal block levies

The Coal Ministry has received requests from various coal/lignite bearing states for transfer of additional levy of Rs 6,149.6 crore collected by the Centre from the owners of operational blocks cancelled by the Supreme Court, Parliament was informed on Thursday.

"As reported by the Coal Controller, the total amount of additional levy deposited so far in the government account is Rs 6,149.6 crore in pursuance of section 22 of the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Second Ordinance, 2014," Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said in a written reply to
Lok Sabha.

"Requests from various coal/lignites bearing states, including Chhattisgarh have been received for transfer of additional levy collected by the Central Government," he said.

Additional levy with respect to the coal extracted by the prior allottees till the September 24, 2014, the minister said, was to be deposited by the prior allottee with the Central government on or before December 31, last year.

‘Power sector total loan from banks at Rs 5.83 trillion’

The total outstanding credit to the power sector from various banks amounted to Rs 5.83 lakh crore at the end of 2014 but the government has no plans to reschedule the loans to electricity generating firms. 

In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said while the RBI does not maintain details of loans received by the approved power projects, however, bank-wise information on loans outstanding to power sector was available. As per the data, the total outstanding loan to the power sector from various banks were at Rs 5,82,269 crore as on end of December 2014.

State Bank of India had the highest exposure to the power sector with a total loan amount of Rs 1,00,085 crore.
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