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The Indian Railways, which is working on a mega energy saving plan, is looking forward to more states coming on board in allowing Non-Objection Certificates (NOCs) for procurement of electricity directly from a supplier of the transporter’s choice and reducing its dependence on state distribution companies (discoms).
This comes following the nod given by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) in 2015 to Indian Railways granting the national transporter the status of deemed distribution licence under the Electricity Act, 2003 bringing railways on a par with discoms. CERC has issued directions to state transmission utilities and state load dispatch centres to facilitate open access to railways on existing transmission network as deemed licensee.
“Following NOCs from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan the governments of Haryana, Punjab and Karnataka have also given agreement in granting NOC to Indian Railways for procurement of electricity. We are also expecting it from UP and Bihar as both the governments have agreed while the talks are yet to be formalised,” Railway Board, Member (Traction), Ghanshyam Singh told ETEnergyworld.
He also said railways expects the governments of West Bengal and Odisha too to come on board soon. “We are very optimistic that the two governments will come on board. We are persuading NOC from West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha through Bhartiya Rail Bijlee Company (BRBCL). We expect a saving of Rs 250 crore annually through this,” he said.
As other states like Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Kerala start allowing direct sourcing of electricity from generators, railways expects total savings of Rs 1,050 crore in the current financial year in our energy bill, he added. The railways expected savings of Rs 3,000 crore accruing as a result of the 2015 CERC order.
The national transporter contracted about 500 megawatt (MW) power from Ratnagiri Gas and Power Pvt. Ltd (RGPPL) in 2015 for consuming it in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand at about Rs 4.70 per unit.
Railway Energy Management Co. Ltd, an arm of Indian Railways, contracted 50 MW power through open tender at Rs 3.69 per unit in its central transmission utility-connected network from Dadri to Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh in December 2015, according to a note issued by the ministry of railways titled ‘New Paradigm of Electric Power Procurement’.
The railways, which expects its energy demand to go up to 49 billion units by 2030, currently consumes 18 billion units of electricity annually drawing a bill of around Rs 10,000 crore. The transporter’s power bill stood at Rs 9,200 crore last financial year.
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