July 06 2020
Tata, Ambani, Agarwal, Ruia, Adani among 17 in show of strength on power woes
14 January 2012

Ratan Tata and his deputy Cyrus Mistry, Anil Agarwal, Anil Ambani, Gautam Adani, Prashant Ruia, Sajjan and Naveen Jindal will make a common platform with nine other promoters and top executives of power projects to flag the hurdles in their way to PM Manmohan Singh and his senior colleagues on Wednesday.

The promoters and executives together account for 24,000 mw, or one-eighth of the country's total generation capacity. The companies they represent are expected to add another 22,000 mw by the end of this year, or 40% of the capacity addition planned in the 12th Plan.

This is for the first time that the top power promoters and executives will be meeting the government in a group. They are also expected to meet finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal and power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.

Industry and government sources said rising cost of imported coal, concerns over availability of funds, uncertainty and delays in environmental clearance besides shortage of coal and gas will be on top of the promoters' list of litanies.

Big power projects fired by imported coal, including the 4,000-mw ultra-mega power project of the Tatas, which went on stream recently, and another one of the Adanis in Gujarat have been seeking a revision of tariff since international price of the fuel has risen substantially in recent times.

Even units using domestic coal are seeking revision of tariffs quoted while bidding for the projects since Coal India has raised its price substantially. In both cases, the promoters are expected to argue, the projects will become unviable in the absence of a tariff revision.

Funds crunch is another issue that is expected to top the agenda during the discussion.

As first reported in ToI on December 29, the Working Group on Power for drafting the 12th Plan, which will chart a course for the country's economic growth over the next five years, has indicated a funding shortfall of Rs 201,707 crore that could trip plans for ramping up capacity to fuel a 9% GDP growth rate.

Fuel shortage and uncertainty over environmental clearance of captive coal mines are another concern that will be highlighted as also shortfall in gas supplies after a drastic fall in output from Reliance Industries Ltd's Andhra offshore field. Gas imported in ships costs almost three times of the domestic gas and would make the projects unviable in the absence of a tariff revision.




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