Thermal power generating giant NTPC is likely to retire 25 power generating units, totalling 2,390 Mw. The units, part of several plants such as Badarpur, Tanda, Talcher, Kanti and SAIL JV, etc, would soon turn older than 25 years and can’t be retrofitted to meet new emission norms.
Officials said a final decision was yet to be taken. “There is also a proposal to use these units as peaking plants or when demand spurts abnormally or to meet demand deficit when renewable or any generating station is under outage. The matter is under discussion,” an executive said.
Out of the 25, 15 units are fully owned by NTPC and the rest are in joint venture, with states. In a presentation to its investors, NTPC said it has initiated emission mitigating work at 134 units, totalling 62,540 Mw. Emission mitigating work has also been initiated at JV plants. Business Standard has reviewed the presentation.
The government has revised emission standards for the thermal power sector climate change goals. The regulation covers all power plants of NTPC. NTPC has earmarked close to Rs 20,000 crore of capital expenditure to meet the new emission norms. NTPC officials said the cost of power production would increase by Rs 50 lakh per Mw. The current cost of power production is Rs 5 crore per Mw. This roughly translates into a 50-60 paisa increase in the final customer tariff.
NTPC said it would also shift to a new pooled tariff regime. “The fixed charges of NTPC coal- and gas-based stations shall be pooled based on per Mw basis and shall be apportioned to all beneficiaries on the basis of total allocation without change in capacity allocated,” NTPC said.
Tariff determination would be according to the existing Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) framework, it said. “Any increase in liability of states due to pooling shall be compensated by savings accrued through higher dispatch of cheaper ECR stations called Generation Bucket Filling,” said NTPC.
Business Standard had reported recently that NTPC is marking a considerable shift in its operations. The thermal behemoth is operating its pit head plant at higher ‘plant load factor’ so as to maximise the output of cheaper power and using its non-pit head plants, which are comparatively costlier, as balancing or gap fill units.