Indian company mulls exit from SL venture

21 February 2013 02:29 am - 13     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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NTPC Ltd has informed the government that it cannot accept the fresh terms set by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) for its proposed 500-MW project in Sri Lanka. Indicating its willingness to withdraw from its maiden overseas venture, the state-owned power generator has sought permission to pull out two of its top functionaries from the island nation.

NTPC and CEB had inked an agreement in 2011 for jointly setting up a 500-MW power project at Trincomalee at a cost of over Rs 4,000 crore, but the project is yet to take off due to persistent differences between the two entities. NTPC has now expressed serious concerns on CEB's flip-flop on the joint venture. In a letter to CEB chief W Abeywickreme on January 15, NTPC chairman Arup Roy Choudhury said the fresh terms and conditions set by the Sri Lankan state-run electricity board is "unacceptable to NTPC as it amounted to substantial changes agreed on the initial Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)."

"You will appreciate that the draft PPA was finalised with CEB after prolonged discussions on all issues and then it was initialed in February 2011. In our mutual interest we should not re-open any of the settled issues and now sign the PPA and other agreements without further delay," Choudhury said in the missive to Abeywickreme.

Separately the NTPC chief is learnt to have conveyed to power secretary P Uma Shankar and India's high commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K Kantha that the CEB is going back on the signed PPA and the project is unable to make any headway. "In view of the slow progress in the development of the project, NTPC has proposed to bring back two senior level executives posted in Sri Lanka for this project," a top power ministry official said. The company did not reply to an e-mailed questionnaire in this connection, but a source in the PSU said that Roy Choudhury is upset on the way CEB is dragging its foot. He pointed out that the project was planned and furthered as part of growing bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka and exuded confidence that CEB would not insist on raking up settled issues.

On January 7, the CEB chief had written to Roy Choudhury saying that certain changes need to be incorporated in the existing PPA including downward revision of operations and maintenance cost of the proposed power plant to Rs 20.5 lakh per MW each year from the currently Rs 38.92 lakh. NTPC has protested saying the estimate on this cost is based on its similar sized plants in India and the CEB had been apprised of the same in advance.

Abeywickreme has also demanded that the current returns on investment should also be down scaled to 12 per cent return on equity as against 18 per cent post tax return on the equity base. "This is non-negotiable as the RoI was agreed the government of Sri Lanka and the CEB in 2006 and is very fundamental to NTPC's investment decision," the power ministry official said.

'No relocation of North Karanpura project'

The Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) on Wednesday decided against relocating power producer NTPC's proposed 1,980-MW super-critical thermal project at North Karanpura coalfields in Jharkhand. The CCI rejected the coal ministry's contention that allowing NTPC to proceed with its power project at Tandwa in Jharkhand's Chatra district would render over 6 billion tonnes of coal reserves sterile. It also directed restoration of the coal linkage for the project. (Source: The Indian Express)
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  Comments - 13

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  • John Thursday, 21 February 2013 06:59 AM

    What a useful comment!

    Greenables Thursday, 21 February 2013 02:40 AM

    Best news ever, time to do away with dirty coal and embrace a cleaner, greener, smarter grid :)

    P.D.Vidanage Thursday, 21 February 2013 02:49 AM

    Best way talk with EU or US government and get support to On Grid Solar Power Generation, 20 years no cost free Electricity

    Powerless Thursday, 21 February 2013 02:51 AM

    Bring in the Chinese.

    Shehan Thursday, 21 February 2013 02:57 AM

    Lets get some more from CHINA!!! :)

    mahen Thursday, 21 February 2013 07:26 AM

    ha ha ha ela comment magodis..Minister of ..Electrical engineering from Trinco Regent...I think podi paga upset ekkak wage...

    Ceylonese Thursday, 21 February 2013 07:29 AM

    Good news is no Indian involvement.

    leel Thursday, 21 February 2013 11:25 AM

    SL does not need this power plant right now or for another 4 to 5 years. Reason Norochchole ia adding another 600 megawatt with in one year. SL power demand growth is zero now or may go negative in future. Because no industries are coming and existing one are closing due to various reasons.I red somewhere power growth rate is zero this year compare to last year. So no need any more power plant now.

    Fernando Thursday, 21 February 2013 07:46 AM

    no wonder CEB is running on loss for years !!!! gov should learn to make profit out of gov institutes, otherwise no development to the country only credit loan will mount to the top

    MagodisThuma Thursday, 21 February 2013 03:53 AM

    Now we have a better Electric Engineer as the minister !

    Kondebandapucheena Thursday, 21 February 2013 12:06 PM

    Tit for Tat or some other reson

    Mushi Thursday, 21 February 2013 12:00 AM

    India India go away... via DM Android App

    onlooker Thursday, 21 February 2013 01:58 PM

    Let them go, they take everything free and then drain the last drop of blood out of us.


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