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‘We want fresh testing of Sasan first unit,’ CERC orders RPower

Electricity regulator CERC has asked Reliance Power to carry out fresh testing of the first 660-mw unit of its 3,960-mw Sasan ultra mega power project.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission's order came on a petition filed by the Western Regional Load Despatch Centre (WRLDC), part of state-owned Power Grid Corp.

'... we are of the view that the certificate given by the independent engineer for declaration of COD (Commissioning Date) for 101.38 mw cannot be sustained,' the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) said in its order dated 20 June.

'Consequently, we direct that Sasan Power Ltd shall undertake fresh testing of the unit to achieve the tested capacity...,' it added.
When contacted, a Reliance Power spokesperson said: 'The first unit of 660 mw of 4,000-mw Sasan UMPP achieved commercial operations, as certified by the independent engineer (IE), appointed jointly by the procurers and Sasan Power, on 30 March, 2013 which was duly accepted in writing by all the 14 (fourteen) procurers'.

According to him, WRLDC has no locus standi to question the commissioning date.WRLDC in its plea had sought to look into the veracity of the certificate issued by the independent engineer 'in view of deliberate suppression and misrepresentation of the facts'.
WRLDC is part of Power System Operation Corp, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Power Grid.

Sasan project, located in Madhya Pradesh, is being implemented by Sasan Power Ltd.As per the CERC order, the power injected by the generating station till declaration of commissioning date by Sasan Power 'shall be treated as infirm power in accordance with the regulations of the Commission'.

Meanwhile, Reliance Power spokesperson said WRLDC petition was listed before CERC on 23  May 2013 for hearing on maintainability only and the hearing was accordingly confined to maintainability.'It is surprising that CERC vide order dated 20 June, 2013 chose to deal with the merits of independent engineer certificate without even hearing Sasan Power or independent engineer,' the spokesperson said.
Further, he noted that the order effectively is an ex parte order.

'WRLDC order is violative of principles of natural justice and is not tenable in law. Sasan Power is approaching Appellate Tribunal to quash the untenable order of CERC,' the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, citing the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for Sasan project, CERC said there is clear-cut provision in the PPA that commissioning date of the generating unit cannot be declared unless the results of the performance test show that the unit tested capacity is not less than 95 per cent of its contracted capacity as existing on the effective date.

'Failure to achieve at least 95 per cent of the contracted capacity shall be considered as failure in the commissioning test and the seller is required to retake the required test with notice to the procures and the Independent Engineer,' the order noted.
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