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TNEB seeks time to pay Rs 7.5 cr to Sai Regency

Panchabuta has earlier mentioned that the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) has not paid for the power purchased from the wind farm developers in the last eight months. The arrears are now a whopping Rs 1200 crore.

ICRA in its report on bank loans rating has revised rating for bank loans of Tamil Nadu Electricity Board to [ICRA]D.

According to reports, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has acceded to the request of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board for three months’ time to pay its dues to a captive power producer in the State, Sai Regency Power Corporation. The amount due is Rs 7.5 crore.

The manner in which the Board has conducted itself in this case which involves such a small amount has come in for strident criticism by the Commission.

Sai Regency Power runs a 58 MW natural gas-based, captive power plant in southern Tamil Nadu. All the power it produces is taken by its captive consumers. In 2008, TNEB, under its ‘restriction and control’ measures, prevented the captive consumers from taking power from Sai Regency; instead it took it for itself and sold it off – and not paid (still not) Sai Regency.

In the subsequent litigation, Sai Regency won its case before the TNERC, but TNEB still did not pay the Rs 7.5 crore. When Sai filed a contempt petition, TNEB issued a ‘clarificatory petition’, which was dismissed by the Commission. In its order dismissing the petition, on June 17, TNERC described TNEB’s intentions as “not honourable” and that the clarificatory petition was issued was “plain and simple abuse of the process of law”.

In its order passed on Friday, TNERC says: “We are in July 2011, ten months after the (first) order of the Commission. Now the TNEB says they will give an undertaking to make the payment within three months which would amount to a year after the order of the Commission. We understand the financial stringency of the TNEB. But that has not been cited as the ground by TNEB for delaying the payment.”

Nevertheless, the Commission said it allowed TNEB’s plea for three months time because Sai Regency had no objection to it.

One comment

  1. Let’s hope the change in ruling party does some improvement to the working of TNEB. Otherwise everything it is doing – from payment delays to reducing the RPO obligation is not very encouraging to the investors!

    – Kedar

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