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The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (Aptel) has rejected an appeal of Adani Group company Adani Power Ltd (APL) against the original April 2013 compensatory tariff order of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) for inordinate delay in filing appeal and lack of sufficient cause. It also refused to condone the delay of 481 days in filing the appeal against the CERC order.
The tribunal in September this year had rejected similar appeal filed by Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (CGPL) a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Power Company Ltd against the CERC order for compensatory tariff to the power companies.
"We hold that the explanation offered by the Applicant (Adani Power) for inordinate delay of 481 days not only suffers from lack of bona fide but also suffers from the lack of diligence and lack of sufficient cause. Hence this Application to condone the delay is dismissed. Consequently, the Appeal is also rejected," the Aptel order passed Friday last stated.
Last year the APL had approached the CERC claiming that rise in prices of international coal from Indonesia (with which it has coal supply agreement) had increased its operational cost and had requested adjustments in tariff under the power purchase agreements (PPAs) with state power utilities.
In April last year, the central regulator had rejected APL's argument that the rise in cost of imported coal was due to the `Change in Law' by the Government of Indonesia and `Force Majeure'. However, it ruled that Adani Power should be granted "compensation" package for their Mundra-based power project in order to provide a cushion against the rising cost of imported coal for the plants.
In its is October 31 order the Tribunal stated that even though Adani Power was aggrieved by its April 2013 order it did not file at that stage of time. "This would clearly prove that the Applicant (APL) duly accepted the Impugned Order and proceeded with this implementation without taking any steps to challenge the said Order at the relevant time," it added.
An emailed query to the Adani Power did not elicit any reply.
Adani Power supplies electricity from its 4,620 Mw power plant in Mundra to Haryana state power utilities to the tune of 1,424 Mw. It also supplies power to Gujarat-based state power utilities.
Last year CERC. while allowing compensatory tariff to CGPL and Adani Power, had asked the power procuring states to form a panel and decide on the quantum of compensation. CGPL had actively participated in the implementation of the order by appearing before the said Committee. The panel, which was headed by HDFC Bank Chairman Deepak Parekh, in its report, said the company should be allowed an increase of 45-55 paise tariff in its Mundra plant.
Based on the panel's report CERC had in February 2014 ruled power-generation companies be allowed to adjust the compensation arising out of the increasing cost of domestic fuel and rising dependence on costly imported fuel. Following this Aptel had on July 21 this year passed interim order allowing Tata Power and Adani Power to recover power dues from March 2013 on account of rise in imported fuel cost. However, the Tribunal said the companies will not recover any pre-March 2013 arrears.
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