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Power Ministry to notify short-term power purchase norms next month

According to reports, looking to bring in more transparency, the Power Ministry is expected to introduce competitive bidding guidelines for short-term procurement of electricity next month.

The guidelines, prepared after consultations with stakeholders, would be applicable for power being procured for a period of less than one year.

“We are almost ready with the competitive bidding guidelines for short term power procurement. We expect to notify the same in May,” a senior Power Ministry official said.

The new norms would help in bringing transparency as well as standardise the whole process of short term power procurement, the official noted.

Presently, there are no specific guidelines for short term power market, which accounts for about 10 per cent of total electricity procured in the country.

State-run Power Finance Corporation (PFC) had come out with draft guidelines for short-term power procurement by distribution licensees through tariff-based bidding process. Power exchanges are not included in the same.

Among others, the draft norms had suggested that the minimum time-frame of ten days should be given for completion of the bidding process.

Excluding renewable sources and captive power plants, the total electricity generated in February stood at 70,999.60 million units. Out of that, 6,441.56 million units — or about nine per cent — were transacted through short-term mode, according to data available with the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission.

Going by estimates, the short-term power procurement rate is about Rs 4 per unit, declining from Rs 6-7 range in the past few years.

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