Power tariffs from coal-based plants that upgrade to meet the new environment norms will rise by 62 paise to 93 paise per unit in the first year of retrofitting, power minister R K Singh said.
The Central Electricity Authority in consultation with power utilities has prepared a phasing plan for implementation of the environmental norms, to ensure minimum disruption in power supply due to shutdown of plants for retrofitting, the minister told the Rajya Sabha through a written reply.
The environment and forest ministry had issued revised environmental norms on December 7 2015 asking the power companies to retrofit coal-based plants to reduce emissions. The estimated capital expenditure on retrofitting the coal-based thermal power plants for meeting revised environmental norms are between Rs 88 lakh per megawatt to Rs 1.28 crore per megawatt, the minister said.
ET had in November last year reported that the government may allow power plants to pass on their investments in the equipment to meet stringent environmental norms to consumers, and such costs will not be included during preparation of dispatch order to ensure these plants remain competitive.
The move is followed by a letter written by power producers seeking clarification from the power ministry and the regulator to incur the costs for meeting the environment norms. The projects would require an estimated Rs 70 lakh to Rs 1 crore per megawatt capital expenditure to meet the norms and the clarification was required to comfort lenders, the producers had told the ministry. The power ministry had sought extension of the two year deadline for power firms that expired last month to implement the changes in the plants.
The Union environment ministry has so far not amended its deadline but last month told the Supreme Court that power projects may require five years to meet the environment standards.
A power ministry official said implementing the norms within two years was not possible. The power ministry has sought plant-wise deadline extension to meet the norms. The schedule has been made after extensive discussions with regional and state load dispatch centers to avoid grid disturbances, he said. Read More
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