Govt firm on privatising Escoms

Both Central, State govts regard the move as key step in power reforms: Minister

powerhouse: Bhoruka Power Corporation Chairman S Chandrasekhar, Minister for Energy  K S Eshwarappa, CII Karnataka State Council Chairman T Parabrahman at the conference on ‘Karnataka Power 2009 - Opportunities and Challenges’ on Wednesday in Bangalore. dh photo

Speaking at the ‘Karnataka Power 2009’ conference organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Wednesday, he said that both the Central government and the State government regarded privatisation as a key step in electricity sector reforms and also for ensuring financial stability.

He said the introduction of the private sector in power distribution would achieve improved operating efficiency and capital investment efficiency, resulting in the supply of quality power to consumers at reasonable costs.

Privatisation would also result in implementation of new systems by the private sector for administration, bill collection, customer management and tackling power theft, he added.
Energy Secretary K Jairaj said that the State is keen on setting up four gas-based power plants with a capacity of 2,000 MW each in four districts under the PPP model. The gas-based power plants have been planned at Belgaum, Gadag, Davangere and Tumkur at an estimated cost of about Rs 32,000 crore.

This is in addition to the gas-based power plant being set up at Bidadi and all these stations will be making use of the gas supplied through the Dabhol gas line, being set up with the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL).

Changing IP sets

Bescom MD Tushar Girinath spoke of the Water Energy Nexus Programme (WENEXA) which is being executed in Doddaballapur on a pilot basis, envisages replacing energy inefficient irrigation pumpsets (IP) with more efficient ones.

The replacement, maintenance and repair is being done without any cost to the consumer and is being borne by the Energy Service companies (Esco). In exchange, the energy saved will be shared by the ESCOs and Bescom. The ESCOs also have the power to trade carbon emission ratings.

Another pilot project being planned is that for the smart grid, a programme that would result in the supply of power to the urban areas, with the help of digital equipment to monitor the usage of appliances. Electronic City has been chosen for the project and expression of interest are likely to be called by the December end.

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