In a move that may facilitate timely commissioning of two thermal power plants in the state, Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) allowed the developers of the plants to run them on imported coal.
The two plants are 1,980-mw (megawatt) plant at Talwandi Sabo, being built by Sterlite Powers, and the 1,400-mw plant being built by Larsen & Toubro at Rajpura.
The corporation said that for these two plants the power purchase agreement (PPA) and the letter of assurance (LoA) should be operated in tandem. The PSERC's decision that LoA and PPA are part and parcel of the contract is the first of its kind in the country.
These two plants, along with five others across the country, were set rolling on the basis of domestic coal and are suffering owing to "indecision" on the part of state governments, power corporations and regulatory commissions over imported coal.
The Punjab State Power Corporation (PSPCL) has so far been objecting to the use of imported coal for these plants.
The permission from the panel comes in response to the petitions filed by the Talwandi Sabo Power (TPSL, for Talwandi Sabo plant) and the Nabha Power (NPL, for Rajpura plant).
The petitioners accused the PSPCL of failing to fulfil its obligation of arranging sufficient quantity of quality coal for three units of 660 mw each at Talwandi Sabo and two units of 700 mw each at Rajpura.