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CENTRAL ELECTRICITY REGULATORY COMMISSION
NEW DELHI
PETITION No. 311/MP/2013
Coram:
Shri Gireesh B. Pradhan, Chairperson
Shri M.Deena Dayalan, Member
Shri A K Singhal, Member
Date of Hearing: 24.04.2014
Date of Order: 05.01.2015
In the matter of
Petition under Section 79 (1) (f) and (c) read with Section 38 (2) (c) and
(d) of the Electricity Act, 2003 and proviso to Regulation 8.8 of the Central
Electricity Regulatory Commission (Grant of Connectivity, Long-term Access
and Medium-term Open Access in inter-State Transmission and related matters)
Regulations, 2009 seeking a direction against the respondent to construct the
associated transmission system for evacuation of power from 2640 MW,
Bhavanapadu Thermal Power Project in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh.
And
In the matter of
East Coast Energy Limited
7-1-24, B Block, 5th Floor,
Roxana Towers, Green Lands,
Begumpet, Hyderabad-500 016
Andhra Pradesh.
.....Petitioner
Vs
Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd.
Saudamini, Plot No. 2, Sector 29,
Gurgaon-122 001
.....Respondent
Parties Present:
Shri Rajiv Bhardwaj, Advocate, ECEPL
Shri A.M. Pavgi, PGCIL
Shri A. Bhargava, PGCIL
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 1 of 63
ORDER
This petition has been filed by East Coast Energy Private Limited under
Section 79 (1) (c) and (f) and section 38(2)(c)and (d) of the Electricity Act, 2003
read with Regulation 8.8 of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission
(Grant of Connectivity, Long Term and medium Term Open Access in interState transmission and related matters) Regulations, 2009 (hereinafter referred
to as "Connectivity Regulations, 2009") for the alleged refusal of Power Grid
Corporation of India Limited to entertain the petitioner‟s application for grant of
connectivity under the Connectivity Regulations to its 2640 MW Bhavanapadu
Thermal Power Project in Srikakulam District of Andhra Pradesh.
Background of the case:
2.
The petitioner, a generating company, is implementing the 2640 MW,
Bhavanapadu Thermal Power Project in two Phases of 1320 MW each. Each
Phase comprises two units of 660 MW each with the aggregate capacity of 1320
MW. The first and second units of the first phase are scheduled for
commissioning in December 2015 and March, 2016 respectively. The second
Phase is scheduled to be commissioned subsequently after a gap of 12 to 18
months after the first Phase. The petitioner is stated to have obtained all
government and regulatory clearances and approvals and the project is
presently under construction.
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 2 of 63
3.
On 11.10.2007, the petitioner submitted an application to Power Grid
Corporation of India Limited (CTU) for grant of Long Term Open Access (LTA)
under the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Open Access in interState Transmission) Regulations, 2004 (hereinafter “Open Access Regulations
2004”) for its 2640 MW Bhavanapadu TPS (Phase I & II).
4.
CTU in its letter dated 5.11.2007 intimated about the requirement of
system studies for the purpose of system strengthening in the region. The
petitioner vide its letter dated 7.12.2007 requested CTU to carry out the system
studies required for strengthening of the transmission system in the region to
facilitate evacuation of power from the generating station to SR, WR and NR
and paid an amount of `17,94,390/- to CTU for conducting the system studies.
5.
The petitioner vide its letter dated 29.11.2008 intimated CTUthat during
discussion with CTU it was understood that CTU would require about 90 acres
of land for setting up the pooling station to which its project would be connected
and offered the required area of land out of the land available for the project.
The petitioner further stated in the said letter that once the suitability of the land
is confirmed by CTU, ownership of the land could be transferred to CTU on
mutually agreeable terms at a later date.
6.
On 18.2.2009, a meeting was held by CTU with the generation
developers seeking long term open access located in Srikakulam and East
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 3 of 63
Godavari areas in Southern Region. In the said meeting, it was indicated that
prima facie there would be requirement of establishment of two (2) 765 kV
Pooling Stations, one in East Godavai District and the other in Srikakulam
District in Andhra Pradesh. During the presentation by PGCIL, it was explained
that location of the pooling station shall be required to be selected in such a
manner that power from the projects in the vicinity can be conveniently brought
to the pooling station through dedicated transmission lines. In this connection, it
was suggested that if possible, the Pooling Station could be made at the
generation switchyard of one of the power projects and if the site conditions
permit, bus bar of one project can be extended to other contiguous projects
which would save substantial investment by avoiding establishment of a pooling
station at other place and then inter-connecting through high capacity
transmission lines. Generation developers agreed to look into the proposal and
provide any inputs in this regard to CTU. It was decided in the said meeting that
within a period of 30 to 45 days, CTU in association with CEA would carry out
system studies keeping in view the status given by the generation developers
for identification of the transmission system which shall then be discussed with
generation developers/constituents of Southern and other beneficiary regions. It
was also decided that once the proposal was agreed by all the beneficiary
regions, the communication of grant of LTOA will be conveyed by CTU. It was
clarified that for implementation of the common transmission system by CTU,
the generation developers need to sign BPTA which would be forwarded to the
developers by CTU.
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 4 of 63
7.
The petitioner in its letter dated 29.5.2009 apprised CTU about the
progress made by the project and reiterated its offer of providing land for the
pooling station. The petitioner emphasized that on account of the time
consuming process of land acquisition in Srikakulam district due to several local
factors, substantial time can be saved by locating the pooling station in the land
offered by the petitioner and sought acceptance of its proposal from CTU so as
to work out the mutually acceptable terms for transfer of land.
8.
On 5.6.2009, CTU sent the agenda for the meeting on Long Term Open
Access Applications in the Southern Region scheduled on 15.6.2009. In the
agenda, it was indicated that the petitioner had sought long term access for
2640 MW with the intended beneficiaries as 750 MW to SR, 600 MW to WR and
1100 MW to NR. Further, in the agenda, the dedicated system for the project of
the petitioner at an approximate cost of `1400 crore was indicated. The
petitioner in its letter dated 8.6.2009 requested PGCIL to revise the intended
beneficiaries as earlier intimated vide its letters dated 26.8.2008, 20.11.2008
and 29.11.2008 which was 1940 MW to SR, 500 MW to WR and Nil to NR. The
petitioner in the said letter further requested PGCIL for a confirmation that the
sub-station would be located on the land being offered by the petitioner.
9.
On 15.6.2009, the meeting on the Long Term Access Applications in the
Southern Region was held. In the meeting, the revised target beneficiaries as
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 5 of 63
indicated by the petitioner were taken note of. CTU indicated that though
revised studies would be carried out on account of the changed target
beneficiaries, it would not make much material difference as power allocated to
SR constituents would be displaced by the power allocated to NR/WR
constituents in other generation projects in Tamil Nadu through the principle of
displacement. In the meeting, it was decided that:
(i) Connectivity requirement would essentially remain the same inter alia
comprising establishment of 765 kV Pooling Station in the area and
integration of the pooling station though LILO of Behrampur –Gazuwaka
400 kV D/C line.
(ii) The petitioner and NCC would have to construct the dedicated
transmission line for bringing power up to the pooling station through 400
kV or 765 kV voltage level transmission lines.
(iii) Stepping up of the generation at the East Coast would be at 400 kV
level and that for NCC, would be at 765 kV level.
(v)
As regards the location of the pooling station, it was indicated that
both East Coast and NCC projects had offered land for establishment of
the Pooling Station. It was decided that the decision on this would be
taken separately after carrying out the analysis with respect to the
locations of the project vis-à-vis the location of the Angul Pooling Station
where power would be ultimately transferred for onward transmission.
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 6 of 63
10.
A follow up meeting was held in the office of CTU on 25.6.2009 in which
the representatives of the petitioner and NCC Vamshadara were present. It was
decided in the said meeting that the petitioner‟s generation would be stepped up
at 400 kV level and the petitioner would have connectivity to the grid through
dedicated 400 kV transmission lines to the pooling station which would be
created by CTU at a suitable location. The power generated at East Coast and
NCC would be pooled at the pooling station which would be further transmitted
to Angul pooling station (being developed by CTU) through the 765 kV
transmission line. The pooling station and the transmission line therefrom to the
grid would be constructed by CTU. In its letter dated 29.6.2009, CTU asked the
petitioner to offer its comments on the generic BPTA mailed to it and indicate a
suitable for signing the BPTA.
11.
In its letter dated 3.7.2009, the petitioner acknowledged the decision
conveyed by CTU in its letter dated 29.6.2009 and requested CTU to confirm
that the pooling station would be constructed on the land offered by the
petitioner and the pooling station would be connected through a LILO to
Talcher-Gazuaka-Berhampur transmission line. The confirmation was sought by
the petitioner to apprise its lenders. The petitioner further informed CTU that
Stage I with 2x660 MW generating units was being apprised by the lenders and
Phase II would be taken up at a later stage and accordingly, requested CTU to
phase out the development of the Pooling Station and associated transmission
lines for evacuating the generation from Phase-I of the project. The petitioner
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 7 of 63
also requested CTU to indicate the value of the Bank Guarantee that would
accompany BPTA and also requested for a meeting to discuss about its
comments on the draft BPTA.
12.
CTU in its letter dated 21.7.2009 advised the petitioner that if it intended
to modify LTOA application from 2640 MW to 1320 MW in view of the
petitioner‟s request for phasing the development of the pooling station and
associated transmission lines, the petitioner should make a fresh LTA
application clearly indicating the beneficiaries and their quantum. CTU further
advised the petitioner to indicate the time difference between the two phases if it
was not intended to modify the LTOA. With regard to the location of the pooling
station, CTU clarified that CTU had never indicated that pooling station would be
developed on the land being offered by the petitioner.
13.
The petitioner vide its letter dated 11.8.2009 informed CTU that it was
necessary to finalise the pooling point on top priority considering the advance
stage of the project. Further, the petitioner confirmed that its load projection
would be as per its letter dated 26.8.2008 i.e. 1940 MW to SR, 500 MW to WR
and Nil to NR. The petitioner further confirmed that there would be a time gap of
8 to 12 months between the Phases to facilitate the financial closure. The
petitioner requested CTU to finalize the Pooling Station at top priority in order to
expedite the other formalities of entering into an agreement.
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 8 of 63
14.
CTU in its letter dated 27.10.2009 intimated the grant of long term open
access for the generation projects in Srikakulam Area. As per the said
intimation, LTOA was granted to the petitioner for 2440 MW (1940 MW for SR
and 500 MW for WR). In Annexure 3 of the letter, the dedicated part of the
transmission elements to be constructed by the petitioner was indicated as (a)
LILO of one circuit of Behrampur-Gazuwaka 400 kV D/c line at East Coast
switchyard and (b) two nos. of 400 kV bays at East Coast generation
switchyard. Annexure 4 (a) indicated the system strengthening in SR and
Annexure 4(b) indicated the system strengthening required in NR and WR. In
the said letter, CTU requested the generation project developers to initial the
BPTA, provide Bank Guarantee and also provide an undertaking to sign the
requisite BPTA upon its approval by the Commission.
15.
On 4.11.2009, CTU provided the draft BPTA (initialed document) to the
petitioner consistent with the technical details of the system strengthening to be
undertaken by CTU and the dedicated transmission system to be built by the
petitioner indicated in the intimation for grant of open access. CTU requested
the petitioner to convey confirmation/ the date and venue for signing the initialed
document (i.e. BPTA) and to furnish the bank guarantee within one month of
signing the agreement.
16.
The petitioner vide its letter dated 25.3.2010 intimated CTU that noting
the contents of the draft regulation on transmission charges and losses, the
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 9 of 63
petitioner has decided to change the quantum of LTOA to 1320 MW (Gross).
The petitioner has further requested CTU to keep the following points in view
while working out the evacuation scheme for its project:
(a) The commissioning schedule has been shifted to March 2013 from
March 2012.
(b) Quantum of power is 1320 MW (Gross) with proposed allocation as
1000 MW to SR and 320 MW to WR.
(c) The petitioner is prepared to submit Bank Guarantee at the rate of `
5 lakh per MW on the net quantum.
(d) Consequent to an interaction with APTRANSCO, the petitioner
would be able to obtain start-up power from the AP grid and the LILO to
Berhampur-Gazuaka 400 kV D/C line will not be required and may not
be mentioned in the letter of modification to the evacuation scheme.
(e) Power from both the units will be evacuated through ISTS.
17.
On 13.4.2010, the 9th meeting of Southern Region constituents regarding
Long term Open Access applications was held in CTU`s office at Gurgaon. In
the minutes of the meeting, it has been mentioned that in the Srikakulam Area,
two generators, namely, East Coast Energy Private Limited and NCC Power
Projects Limited had submitted their revised requests for LTOA under 2004
Open Access Regulations. The petitioner had indicated the quantum of
allocation of power for LTOA as 1000 MW for SR and 320 MW for WR with date
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 10 of 63
of commencement as March 2013.
In the said meeting, the following
transmission system was proposed:
Dedicated transmission system
(a) Both the East Coast and NCC generation projects shall be stepped
up at 400 kV level and bus reactor of 1x125 MVAR to be provided at
each generation project switchyard
(b) Power from each generation project shall be pooled at Srikakulam
pooling station through dedicated 400 kV D/C (quad) line under the
scope of generation developer.
Common Transmission System
(a) Establishment of 400 kV pooling stations in Srikakulam area with
future provision for 765 kV level
(b) Srikakulam Pooling station-Angul 765 kV D/C lines (initially charged
at 400 kV)
(c) Provision of 2x1500 MVA transformer at Angul 765/400 kV
substation.
(d) Angul-Jharsuguda 765 kV D/C line
(e) Jharsuguda-Dharmajaigarh 765 kV D/C line
It was decided in the said meeting that considering schedule of generation
projects, an interim arrangement was proposed through LILO of one circuit of
Gazuwaka Berhampur 400 kV D/C line at the respective power plants. These
LILO will be further extended to Srikakulam Pooling Station when this sub-
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 11 of 63
station gets ready. Phasing of the dedicated transmission system was decided
as under:
(a) Phase I: Interim arrangement to be done by East Coast and NCC
(i)
Construction of 400 kV Quad line from Switchyard upto LILO point
on Berhampur-Gazuwaka 400 kV line
(ii)
During interim arrangement if there is any constraints in the
transmission
system
for
evacuation
of
power,
generation
developer shall have to back down the generation.
(b)
Phase II : Matching with establishment of pooling station to be done by
East Coast and NCC
(i)
18.
Extending the LILO line from LILO point to the pooling station.
Pursuant to the decision taken in the meeting dated 13.4.2010, PGCIL
intimated the grant of LTOA as per the Open Access Regulations of 2004 vide
its letter dated 6.5.2010. The LTOA indicated that the developers shall ensure
availability of identified dedicated scheme at its own cost before scheduled
commissioning of the generating units. The operation and maintenance of these
lines shall be undertaken by the developers. The scope of dedicated part to be
implemented by the petitioner was indicated as under:
“1. East Coast Energy Private Limited (1320 MW) generation project
a) East Coast Energy Generation Switchyard-Srikakulam Pooling Station
400 kV D/C (quad) capacity line
b) Provision of 1x125 MVAR Bus Reactor at generation switchyard
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 12 of 63
c) Two numbers of 400 kV bays each at East Coast Energy generation
switchyard and Srikakulam Pooling substation
Note:
1. East Coast Energy shall take up implementation of the above dedicated
transmission matching with the commissioning of pooling station to be
implemented by CTU. Further, as a temporary measure to facilitate
drawal of start-up power East Coast Energy shall make LILO of one
circuit of Berhampur-Gazuwaka 400 kV D/C line being constructed under
IPTC route. With the commissioning of pooling station, temporary LILO
arrangement shall be removed to restore Berhampur-Gazuwaka line.”
The petitioner was asked to sign the BPTA and furnish the Bank Guarantee as
per the provisions of Connectivity Regulations.
19.
On 31.5.2010, the Commission accorded regulatory approval for nine
High Capacity Power Transmission Corridors which included the transmission
system developed by the petitioner in Srikakulam Area christened as HCPTCVIII. The Commission directed the CTU to submit quarterly progress report of
the transmission corridors, along with the progress of the generation projects of
the IPPs.
20.
On 5.7.2010, the petitioner signed BPTA with CTU pursuant to the grant
of open access vide letter dated 6.5.2010. The BPTA contained that the
dedicated part would be implemented by the petitioner. In accordance with the
provisions of BPTA, the petitioner submitted a Bank Guarantee of Rs.62.04
crore.
21.
For ascertaining the progress of the generation projects, CTU held Joint
Coordination Committee (JCC) meetings. There were also correspondences
between the petitioner and CTU with regard to the location of pooling station
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 13 of 63
and progress of the generation project and transmission projects. These
developments are discussed in brief as under:
(a) In the 1st Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting held on
17.9.2010,
the
petitioner
indicated
that
its
project
would
get
commissioned by July 2013. On an enquiry by the petitioner regarding
the status of the LILO of Behrampur-Gazuwaka 400 kV D/C
Transmission Line being executed by Reliance Power Transmission
Limited (RPTL) which was identified as an interim measure for availing
start-up power, the petitioner was informed that as per the then available
projection, the line was expected by September 2012. The petitioner was
given the contact details of RPTL and was advised to coordinate with
RPTL for getting the route alignment. On a further query by the petitioner
about the expected location of Srikakulam Pooling station which was
required by the petitioner to take up route alignment of the dedicated
transmission line, the petitioner was informed by CTU that the location of
the pooling station was being identified and would be communicated to
the petitioner.
(b)
In the 2nd JCC Meeting held on 2.2.2011, the petitioner indicated
the target completion date of its generating unit as March 2013 and its
requirement of start-up power by September 2012. CTU informed that the
land for the pooling station had been identified with the tentative
coordinates as 18o41'33.43"N, 84o19'27.19"E and the schedule of
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 14 of 63
transmission system implementation is 45 months from the date signing
of the BPTA. The representative of RPTL indicated that the target date
for Behrampur-Gazuaka line is October 2012.
(c)
In the 3rd JCC meeting held on 1.4.2011, CTU informed the
petitioner that the transmission line being constructed by RPTL would be
available by September 2012 and advised the petitioner to stay in touch
with RPTL for finalizing the route alignment. CTU also informed the
petitioner that the land for Srikakulam pooling station acquisition process
for the land identified and land acquisition process had been initiated and
money had already been deposited with the authorities.
(d)
In the 4th JCC meeting held on 12.7.2011, the petitioner was
informed that the coordinates of the Pooling Station earlier provided were
final unless there was an objection from the locals. However, RPTL, the
developer of Behrampur-Gazuwaka line, informed that on account of
delay in obtaining Section 164 authorization, TTCL has issued notice
under Force Majeure clause of the PPA seeking extension of one year
i.e. up to October, 2013 for commissioning of the line. CTU also informed
that now only the petitioner‟s project is on the anvil as the other projects
have been called off.
(e) The petitioner vide its letter dated 11.10.2011 informed the Ministry of
Power regarding the notice issued by RPTL under force majeure clause
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 15 of 63
seeking extension of one year for completion of the BehrampurGazuwaka transmission line. The petitioner also informed the Ministry of
Power that the pooling station being planned by CTU is not likely to be
available for connecting the generating station for start-up power and
requested to issue instruction to CTU to provide suitable alternate source
so that the start-up power was made available for the project before
September 2013.
(f) On 21.6.2012, CTU vide its e-mail informed the petitioner that the final
coordinates for the Srikakulam Pooling station had been fixed at
18o48'28" N and 84o27'22" E.. On 30.6.2012, the petitioner informed CTU
that with the new coordinates, the length of the line had almost doubled
to about 40 km. In view of the increased line length and cost, the
petitioner once again reiterated the offer of land for the Pooling Station
out of the land parcel available for the generation project.
(g)
In the 8th JCC Meeting held on 2.7.2012, CTU informed that the
investment approval for system strengthening work had been obtained
which included Srikakulam Pooling Station and Srikakulam Angul 765 kV
D/C line and work in the transmission project would begin shortly with the
commissioning date as June, 2015 as per revised BPTA signed. As
regards the progress of the generation project, the petitioner informed
that the MoEF had rescinded the work suspension order and the work on
the project had resumed and commissioning of Unit-I was expected by
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 16 of 63
November 2014. CTU further assured to make best efforts to match the
transmission system with the commissioning of the generation project.
With regard to the availability of land for the Pooling Station, CTU
informed that the proposal for Section 4(1) notification was already in
Secretariat and was being pursued actively. In response to the
petitioner‟s offer of land for the Pooling Station out of the land parcel
available with it for the project, CTU stated that site selection for new
sub-station was done by a committee taking into consideration of various
standards parameters and selection of land for Srikakulam Pooling
Station was accordingly made.
(h)
The petitioner in its letters dated 14.8.2012 and 21.8.2012
informed CTU that the location of pooling station with the new
coordinates (18o48'28" N and 84o27'22" E) would result in increase of the
length of the dedicated transmission line from 19 km to 40 km. The
petitioner informed CTU that as land for the Pooling Station had not yet
been acquired by CTU, the petitioner had identified three alternative
locations for the pooling station and requested CTU to locate the pooling
station in the premises of the generating station or in the alternative
location suggested by it. The petitioner vide its letter dated 27.9.2012
paid an amount of `1,05,16,860/- to CTU as advance for execution of 2
nos 400 kV bays at CTU‟s Srikakulam Pooling Station.
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 17 of 63
(i)
In the 15th meeting of the Southern Region Constituents held on
4.1.2013 regarding approval of LTOA and connectivity application, CTU
informed that from about 20 sites surveyed, CTU selected the most
suitable site but the same was not enough to accommodate normal
765/400 kV GIS sub-station. Considering these factors, CTU proposed
that Srikakulam pooling station be constructed with 400 kV portion as AIS
and 765 kV portion as GIS.
(j)
The petitioner vide its letter dated 26.4.2013 informed PGCIL that
the proposed location of Srikakulam sub-station based on the
coordinates(18o48'28" N and 84o27'22" E) would result in a tie line of
about 40 km to be constructed between the generation switchyard and
the pooling station and the cost of the tie line cannot be assumed by the
company for the following reasons: (i) prior to entering into the BPTA,
ECEPL had offered 90 acres of land for CTU's Srikakulam Pooling
Station during November, 2008, and the petitioner was informed by CTU
that it was possible to locate the pooling station at the Switchyard of
ECEPL. (ii) As per the terms of the BPTA signed on 5.7.2010, the
location of the pooling station is subject to only minor changes, if any due
to final survey and physical constraints, and (iii) as per Connectivity
Regulations, the cost of the line was required to be incurred by CTU. The
petitioner renewed its offer/proposal for 90 acres of land for setting up the
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 18 of 63
pooling station as a cost effective solution for mutual benefits of both
parties.
(k)
In the 9th meeting of JCC held on 12.4.2013, PGCIL informed that
the land for the sub-station was likely to be acquired by May 2013 and
accordingly the award for the sub-station package would be made
thereafter. In the said meeting, the petitioner informed that the unit-1 is
scheduled to be completed by September 2015. In response, CTU
informed that the scheduled commissioning of the transmission system is
June, 2015 for Part A and C and December, 2015 for Part B. As regards
Gazuwaka-Behrampur transmission line, CTU informed that it has filed
petition before this Commission for vesting the project with CTU.
(l) In its letter dated 1.6.2013, the petitioner informed PGCIL that the cost
of tie line cannot be assumed by the petitioner based on the CTU pooling
station at the present location and requested for a decision on its letter
dated 26.4.2013. PGCIL in its reply informed to the petitioner as under: (i)
LTOA intimation to the petitioner was given by CTU vide its letter dated
27.10.2009 in accordance with the 2004 Open Access Regulations
according to which tie line would be constructed by the generation
developer. The revised intimation also clearly mentioned that intimation
was as per the 2004 Open Access Regulations. (ii) The Connectivity
Regulation came into force from 1.1.2010. As per the Detailed
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 19 of 63
Procedure, CTU gave option to the project developer to switch over to
the Connectivity Regulations with revised application. The petitioner did
not revise the application and went ahead with signing of BPTA and
requisite bank guarantee. As per the BPTA signed, the tie line was within
the scope of generation project developer. (iii) The Commission accorded
regulatory approval vide order dated 31.5.2010 and as per the said
approval, the dedicated transmission lines fell within the scope of
generation project developer. (iv) Both the petitioner and NCCPPL had
offered land for Srikakulam Pooling Station near their respective
generation switchyard. CTU has identified the land for the pooling station
optimal
to
both
generating
station
and
the
scheme
is under
implementation.
(m) The petitioner vide its letter dated 27.7.2013 applied for connectivity for
the generating station under the Connectivity Regulations with the
following request:
“1.
Considering the drastic changes that have taken place from
July 2010 till date, as explained above in „Background‟ and MOEF
suspension already causing a lot of financial implication on the
project cost, kindly note that any additional burden on the project
cost will have serious implication which may lead to relook by the
lenders. In this regard, we request CTU to consider our application
for connectivity so that transmission line from ECEPL project
switchyard to the point of connection is built by CTU as the
capacity is above 500 MW.
2.
After approval of connectivity, the company shall submit the
LTOA application separately.
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 20 of 63
3.
We request you to consider our case favourably and issue
the connectivity at the earliest. Also we request CTU to consider
and adjust the BG of `62.04 crore submitted at the time of BPTA
signing against the BG required to be submitted along with the
LTOA/BPTA signing.”
(n)
In the 16th meeting of the Southern Region constituents held on
4.9.2013 regarding LTA and Connectivity applications in Southern
Region, the application of the petitioner was considered. In the meeting,
CTU informed that based on the Open Access application submitted by
the petitioner, LTOA was granted vide ref no. C/ENG/SEF/TAL/L/S/)
(/005(R1) dated 6.5.2010 and the conditions stipulated included the
dedicated transmission line from generation switchyard to Srikakulam
Pooling Station would be constructed by the petitioner. CTU further
informed that the petitioner has submitted the connectivity application for
the same generation project in the Srikakulam Area to process under the
Connectivity Regulations so that the dedicated transmission line from the
generation switchyard to the Srikakulam pooling station may be
considered under the coordinated planning of CEA and CTU and
developed as ISTS transmission system. Chairperson CEA observed that
the Petitioner‟s request for migration to 2009 Connectivity Regulations
cannot be permitted at this point of time.
Submission of the Petitioner
22.
Against the above factual background, the petitioner has submitted that
the Connectivity Regulations were notified by the Commission on 7.8.2009 to
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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come into effect from such date as the Commission may notify which would be
after approval of the Detailed Procedure. The Commission vide its order dated
31.12.2009 approved the Detailed Procedure and declared that the Connectivity
Regulations would come into force with effect from 1.1.2010. The petitioner has
submitted that as per the proviso to Regulation 8(8) of the Connectivity
Regulations, a thermal generating station of 500 MW and above shall not be
required to construct the dedicated transmission line to the point of connection
and such stations shall be taken into account for coordinated transmission
planning by CEA and CTU. The petitioner has further submitted that as per the
Detailed Procedure, only two categories would be covered under the 2004 Open
Access Regulations, namely, applications, which have been approved and the
BPTA have been signed; and those applications where BPTAs are yet to be
signed but have been initialed. The petitioner has submitted that its case is
covered under neither of these categories and therefore, the petitioner is legally
entitled to submit its application under the Connectivity Regulations. However,
CTU refused to entertain the petitioner‟s application for connectivity under
Connectivity Regulations. The petitioner has submitted that CTU without
authority of law rejected its application for connectivity under Connectivity
Regulations knowing fully well that earlier grant of open access communicated
in October 2009 was superseded by the revised intimation in May 2010 and
therefore the open access approval would be governed by the Connectivity
Regulations as the earlier Open Access intimation stood revoked. Secondly, the
petitioner has further submitted that despite the fact that the system evolved
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 22 of 63
pursuant to the system studies carried out by CTU as indicated to the petitioner
through intimation for grant of open access provided for injection point at
generator‟s switchyard, CTU without credible justification decided to set up the
pooling station at a distance after a loss of considerable time preventing the
petitioner for making arrangements for evacuation of power and procurement of
start-up power. Thirdly, CTU has turned blind eye to the petitioner‟s repeated
offer of 90 acres of land out of the land parcel available for the generation
project which the petitioner was willing to make on the terms of CTU and has
gone ahead to make avoidable expenditure which would certainly be loaded on
the injection tariff of the node with which the generator is connected. Fourthly,
the petitioner has also submitted that the cost of the transmission lines, its
associated bays and reactors would substantially add to the capital cost of the
project which is already reeling under substantial cost escalation on account of
delays caused due to the work suspension order issued by MOEF to the
projects in Srikakulam Area and the petitioner has very little possibility of
recovery of this additional cost of the transmission lines in the current
environment of competitive bids whereas CTU would be able to recover the
investment cost as part of its transmission tariff determined by the Commission.
23. The petitioner has made the following prayers in the petition:
"(a)
Direct the Respondent to construct the pooling station at the
generation switchyard of the petitioner's power project;
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 23 of 63
(b)
In the alternative, direct the Respondent to construct the
transmission line between the petitioner's generation switchyard and the
Srikakulam Pooling Station along with all the associated systems;
(c)
Direct the respondent to refund the money paid as advance for
construction of 2 nos of 400 kV bays at the pooling station;
(d)
Direct the Respondent to make arrangement for providing start-up
power for commissioning of the generation project; and
(e)
Pass such other further order(s) as the Hon'ble Commission may
deem fit in the facts of the present case."
24.
The petition was admitted on 6.3.2014 and notice was issued to CTU.
During the course of the hearing dated 6.3.2014, the Commission observed that
the transmission system for the petitioner‟s generating station was being
constructed under HCPTC approved by this Commission and directed the
petitioner to submit progress of its generating station under various milestones
achieved so far. The Commission further observed that in accordance with
Connectivity Regulations, the petitioner need to firm up its beneficiaries and
inform the same to nodal agency at least 3 years prior to the intended date of
availing long-term access. Accordingly, the petitioner was directed to submit
details of its long-term beneficiaries. The petitioner was further directed to
submit a detailed Status Report for its 2640 MW Bhavanapadu Thermal Power
Project as on 28.2.2014.
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 24 of 63
25.
The petitioner vide its affidavit dated 13.3.2014 has submitted that
Central Power Distribution Company of Andhra Pradesh Ltd. (APCPDCL) has
awarded the contract for supply of 300 MW of power to PTC India Ltd. from the
petitioner‟s Bhavanpadu power station and remaining generation capacity is yet
to be tied up. The petitioner proposes to offer this power for long-term sale in
the bids, which may be invited in future. The petitioner has submitted that the
present dispute has arisen on the question whether in view of the fact and
circumstances mentioned in the petition, the LTA application is to be governed
under the Open Access Regulations, 2004 or the Connectivity Regulations. It
has been further submitted that the petitioner has only applied for the
connectivity of its generating station and shall apply for Open Access as and
when the said arrangement is finalized with the end beneficiaries.
The
petitioner has submitted that as per the Regulation 8(6) of the Connectivity
Regulations, grant of connectivity does not entitle the applicant to interchange
any power with the grid unless it obtains open access.
Reply of Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd.(CTU)
26.
CTU vide its reply dated 3.4.2014 has submitted as under:
(a)
In the present case, the applications were made under the Open
Access Regulations, 2004 which did not provide such arrangement for
furnishing of BG to ensure seriousness of applicant. The change of
quantum was accepted and the applications were processed accordingly.
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 25 of 63
(b)
The petitioner had not been sure of the capacity of the project and
its commissioning schedules as demonstrated as under:
S.
Particulars
No.
1
Original Application
2
3
4
5
6
7
(c)
Date
Oct, 2007
Letter from ECEPL, Aug, 2009,
Oct, 2009,
Intimation, BPTA
July, 2010
BPTA
July, 2010
Revised Annexure to Oct, 2011
BPTA
Revised Annexure to May, 2012
BPTA
Application
for July, 2013
Connectivity
Petition
Mar, 2014
Capacity
2640
1320
1320
1320
Commissioning
Schedule
U#1,2,3,4:
December
2011, March 2012, March
2013, June 2013
U#1: March, 2013
U#2: August, 2013
U#1: August, 2014
U#2: December,2014
1320
U#1: August, 2014
U#2: December,2014
1320
U#1: December 2015
U#2: March, 2016
2640
U#1: December 2015
U#2:March, 2016
U#3 and 4: with a gap of
12-18 months
It is clear from the above table that the petitioner had all along
been inconsistent about the generation capacity and its schedule.
Though the application for connectivity made in July, 2013 was for 1320
MW, however, the petitioner has alleged that its application for 2640 MW
has not been entertained by CTU.
(d)
The petitioner has sought to increase the volume of the petition by
giving unnecessary details of meetings and minutes of transmission
evolution process which itself was marred by lot of uncertainty not only
pertaining to the petitioner's generation project but also other proposed
generation projects in the vicinity. Never-the-less, all such communication
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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and minutes establishes one fact that the petitioner had all along been
kept in confidence during the entire process and nothing has been done
without petitioner's knowledge. After making application in October, 2007,
the applicant kept on changing the quantum of injection, target
beneficiaries for almost two years i.e. up to July, 2009 when revised
LTOA application were made. Therefore, all the options and alternatives
as quoted by the petitioner for the prior period do not hold much
relevance in such an uncertain conditions. The petitioner had signed
BPTA in July, 2010 wherein the above scope of the petitioner was kept
un-modified.
(e)
As per the status report submitted by petitioner, it has already
obtained Section 68 approval from Ministry of Power on 5.6.2011. The
petitioner submitted status report to CTU on 12.2.2014 wherein it had
informed that public notice and gazette notification for Section 164
approval is already done. In other words, the petitioner had been taking
all measures for implementation of the dedicated transmission line as per
the BPTA signed with CTU. It is only after thought of the petitioner to
convert their LTA under Open Access Regulations, 2004 to mere
Connectivity under Connectivity Regulations, 2009.
(f)
There is an option given to applicants regarding migration from
Open Access Regulations, 2004 to Connectivity Regulations, 2009. The
status of the petitioner on 1.1.2010, when the Connectivity Regulations,
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 27 of 63
2009 came into force, was of "Applications made but LTA yet to be
granted". Such applicants, as per para 31 of the detailed procedure
approved by this Commission, were given the option of applying afresh
without requirement of submitting application fees and Bank Guarantee
@ ` 10000 per MW of LTA quantum. In fact, in the 9th meeting of
connectivity and LTA held on 13.4.2010, the petitioner had explained the
provision pertaining to migration from Open Access Regulations, 2004 to
Connectivity Regulations. However, the petitioner, for reasons best
known to it, chose to go ahead with the Open Access Regulations, 2004
and subsequently, the petitioner signed the BPTA on 5.7.2010 and
submitted the construction Bank Guarantee for CTU to go ahead with the
implementation of the Common Transmission System. Therefore, the
petitioner's contention that these provisions were not applicable to it is
not correct, as these had been specifically explained to it. Further, after
going ahead with implementation of Common Transmission System, the
petitioner is now praying in the aforesaid additional facts that it has
applied for connectivity only and LTA shall be applied later on as and
when sale arrangement is finalized with the beneficiaries. In other words,
the petitioner is acting against the BPTA for which it has committed and
based on which CTU has gone ahead with the implementation of
Common Transmission System.
(g)
The petitioner had been permitted interim arrangement by LILO of
one circuit of Behrampur-Gazuwaka 400 kV D/C line being constructed
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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under IPTC route by Reliance Power Transmission Ltd. This provision
was under the scope of the petitioner and the same was agreed in the
BPTA signed. All steps taken by CTU and CEA are coordinating with the
petitioner and RPTL to fructify the arrangement of the petition
corroborates this. In the meantime, RPTL had approached the
Commission regarding implementation difficulties for the BehrampurGazwuaka transmission line. Accordingly, anticipating that RPTL line was
likely to get delayed, the matter of start-up power was discussed in 33rd
meeting of Standing Committee held in the month of October 2011 in
which the petitioner was appraised about the situation and, in absence of
any ISTS grid point in the vicinity, was advised to approach
APTRANSCO for necessary arrangement of Start-up power. In the same
meeting, APTRANSCO had also confirmed that it would study the
proposal whenever approached by the petitioner. Therefore, the
petitioner was sounded well in time to arrange for start-up power in
absence of any ISTS grid point in the vicinity. Now after lapse of about
precious 30 months period, the petitioner‟s prayer for CTU to arrange
start-up power was out of context and would be feasible only with
availability of petitioner‟s dedicated transmission line upto Srikakulam
Pooling Station.
(h)
According to the petitioner, it would face difficulties in obtaining
approval under Section 164 which is time consuming process. However,
the petitioner in its status report dated 12.2.2014 had confirmed that
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 29 of 63
approvals under Section 164 and Section 68 of the Act had been
obtained from Ministry of Power.
(i)
As regards, the petitioner‟s contention regarding offer of land in
the petitioner‟s generation project switchyard for locating Pooling Station,
CTU has submitted that at the time of planning of Common Transmission
System, there were three generation projects in the vicinity viz. East
Coast Energy (1320 MW), NCC Power (1320 MW) and Alpha Infra Prop
(2640 MW). Out of these, East Coast and NCC Power were offering
lands for locating pooling station in their respective switchyards, with the
primary objectives of avoiding construction of dedicated transmission line
by them. The location of Pooling Station is decided based on numerous
consideration like suitability of drawing 765 kV incoming/outgoing lines,
optimization of line lengths of not only dedicated transmission line but
also the 765 kV lines for smooth operation, site specific issues like
availability of Govt. land, extent of inhabitation, water bodies in the
vicinity, etc.
In the present case, the site was selected following the
above procedure in which the petitioner‟s offer of the land was also taken
into consideration. Just for the sake of avoiding dedicated transmission
line, CTU could not make compromise on other considerations.
(j)
As regard the petitioner`s request for grant of connectivity as per
its application dated 27.7.2013, CTU had not summarily rejected the
application of the petitioner which was taken up as agenda point in the
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 30 of 63
16th meeting of SR constituents regarding LTA/Connectivity application.
In the said meeting, it was specifically noted that the applicant had
sought connectivity from June 2015 and the work on dedicated
transmission line had not started by generation developer which clearly
indicated that there would be mis-match between availability of dedicated
transmission line and generation project for which generation developer
would be solely responsible. In fact, apart from all the reasoning and
arguments made in the entire petition, the reason explained by the
petitioner for making such an application is that due to various
environmental issues faced by it in implementation of generation project,
the cost of generation project is going beyond its estimate. The lenders of
the petitioner are asking it to reduce the cost of generation project.
Therefore, the petitioner has expressed his inability to cover the cost of
dedicated transmission line within its project cost for which it had earlier
agreed in the BPTA. Accordingly, the petitioner is seeking a via media to
get implementation of its dedicated transmission line under ISTS route.
Moreover, in the 36th Standing Committee meeting held on 4.9.2013
Chairperson, CEA had observed that the generation developer should
undertake implementation of dedicated transmission line matching with
the ISTS transmission system for coordinated evacuation of power from
generation project. In the said meeting, COO (CTU) also clarified that
irrespective of the availability of dedicated transmission line, the
petitioner would have to bear transmission charges as per the BPTA and
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 31 of 63
suggested the petitioner to construct dedicated transmission line in
compressed time schedule matching with the generating schedule.
Rejoinder of the petitioner
27.
The petitioner in its rejoinder dated 21.4.2014 has submitted as under:
(a)
The provision given in the Detailed Procedure for making
application for grant of Long-term Access to ISTS is clear that in those
applications, which are under process, applicants shall have to apply
afresh. However, it did not exercise any choice and only agreed to
construct the LILO line on the assurance that the Pooling Station would
be located close to the LILO point.
(b)
The route survey for the public notice to be issued for Section 164
approval has been carried out with LILO connectivity in mind. The public
notice and the publication in the official gazette are the preliminary
requirement before the approval for fresh Section164 is processed by
Government of India, Ministry of Power. The notice of the route alignment
was published in the newspaper and the official gazette in January, 2013
and March, 2013 respectively before the petitioner was informed about
the fate of Behrampur-Gazuwaka transmission line.
(c)
The statement attributed to the COO (CTU) is contrary to the
Regulation framed by the Commission and the liability to pay the
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 32 of 63
transmission charges only after the entire transmission system is made
ready by the Respondent including the evacuation line from the
generating station.
Submissions during and after the hearing
28.
During the course of hearing on 24.4.2014, learned counsel for the
petitioner and the representative of CTU reiterated their stand as made in the
written pleadings. After hearing the parties, the Commission had directed the
petitioner to file (i) technical schedule for time required from boiler light up to
the stage of commissioning of the unit; (ii) PERT chart of the complete activity
up to the COD of the unit (iii) approval under Sections 68 and 164 of the Act and
(iv) the programs/schedule for construction of line till Srikakulam pooling station
in the light of the approval under Section 164 of the Act.
29.
The petitioner vide its affidavit dated 20.6.2014 has submitted the
information called for. In PERT chart, the commissioning schedule of unit-I and
unit-II has been given as December, 2015 and as March, 2016 respectively. The
petitioner has also filed the copies of the section 68 approval issued by
Government of India (Ministry of Power) vide letter dated 5.6.2011 and section
164 approval issued vide letter dated 13.1.2014. As regards the program for
schedule for construction of the dedicated transmission line, the petitioner has
submitted that it has not drawn any program/schedule for construction of the
transmission line and is awaiting direction from the Commission.
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 33 of 63
30.
The petitioner has filed an affidavit dated 7.8.2014 in which it has been
submitted that it is not constructing the dedicated transmission system for
evacuation of power from its 2640 MW Bhabhanapadu Thermal Power Project.
CTU vide its affidavit dated 3.9.2014 has submitted that after the order was
reserved by the Commission, there was no occasion for the petitioner to file a
fresh affidavit of evidence and has prayed that the said affidavit should not be
considered as part of record. CTU has submitted that the petitioner is only
deliberately trying to evade its liabilities to construct the dedicated transmission
line for which it had committed under the BPTA dated 24.12.2010 by reverting to
a plethora of pleas which are only causing delays in implementation of the
project. CTU has drawn attention of the Commission to para (iv) of the section
164 Notification dated 13.1.2014 where permission has been granted to the
petitioner for construction of the 400 kV Double Circuit transmission line with
Quad Moose Conductor from Bhabhana padu TPS till the CTU‟s proposed substation at Village Simhachanpeta near Palasa. CTU has submitted that the
petitioner in its affidavit dated 7.8.2004 has abdicated its responsibility entrusted
on the petitioner through notification by GOI. CTU has prayed to reject the
petitioner‟s affidavit dated 7.8.2014 and direct the petitioner to execute the
dedicated transmission line.
Analysis and Decision
31.
We have considered the submissions of the petitioner and CTU and
perused documents in record. After consideration of the pleadings of the parties
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 34 of 63
and submissions during the hearing, it emerges that the petitioner is aggrieved
by non-acceptance of its offer of a piece of land offered to CTU to locate the
Srikakulam Pooling station which would have saved the petitioner from the
expenditure to construct the dedicated transmission line from the generating
station to the pooling station. The petitioner has also highlighted the issue of
start-up power for the purpose of testing and commissioning of its generating
station. In the light of the pleadings and the prayers in the petition, the following
issues arise for our consideration:
(a)
Whether CTU is bound to construct the pooling station at the plot
of land offered by the petitioner?
(b) Whether it is the responsibility of CTU to construct the dedicated
transmission line from the generating station of the petitioner to the
pooling station of CTU?
(c)
Whether it is the responsibility of CTU to provide start-up power to
the petitioner?
(d) Whether the petitioner is entitled to refund of money deposited by it
with CTU for construction of bays?
These issues have been dealt with in the succeeding paragraps.
Issue No.1: Whether CTU is bound to construct the pooling station at the
plot of land offered by the petitioner?
32.
The petitioner applied for LTOA on 11.10.2007 under the Open Access
Regulations, 2004. As per the requirement of the said regulations, the petitioner
had submitted the following information:
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 35 of 63
Quantum of power to be transmitted: 2460 MW
Points of injection of power: Switchyard bus of power plant.
Expected Sale to: Andhra Pradesh-200 MW, Karnataka-550 MW,
Maharashtra-500MW, Rajasthan-600 MW, Punjab-500MW, Goa-100
MW.
Voltage level of the EHV sub-station (Nearest EHV sub-station and
ownership): 400kV at Gazuwaka owned by PGCIL.
Expected date of commencement of the Open Access: October, 2010.
Generating capacity: 2640 MW (Phase I-2x660 MW
and
Phase II-
2x660 MW).
Step up generation voltage: 400 kV
Unit wise capacity and commissioning schedule:
o Unit-I: December, 2011
o Unit-II: March, 2012
o Unit-III: March, 2013
o Unit-IV: June, 2013
33.
CTU intimated vide its letter dated 5.11.2007 that the system studies
were required before LTOA is granted. The petitioner vide its letter dated
7.12.2007 requested CTU to carry out the system studies for system
strengthening for the purpose of evacuation of power from its generating station
to SR, NR and WR. The petitioner vide its letter dated 29.11.2008 referring to its
discussion with CTU stated that CTU would require about 90 acres of land for
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 36 of 63
setting up the pooling station to which its project would be connected and
offered the required area of land out of the land available for the project. The
petitioner further stated in the said letter that once the suitability of the land is
confirmed by CTU, ownership of the land could be transferred to CTU on
mutually agreeable terms at a later date. On 18.2.2009, a meeting was held by
PGCIL with the generation developers seeking long term open access located in
Srikakulam and East Godavari areas in Southern Region (Annexure P-4). CTU
during its presentation explained that location of the pooling station shall be
required to be selected in such a manner that power from the projects in the
vicinity can be conveniently brought to the pooling station through dedicated
transmission lines. It was suggested that if possible, the Pooling Station could
be made at the generation switchyard of one of the power projects and if the site
conditions permit, bus bar of one project can be extended to other contiguous
projects which would save substantial investment by avoiding establishment of a
pooling station at other place and then inter-connecting through high capacity
transmission lines. The petitioner in its letter dated 29.5.2009 (Annexure P-5)
reiterated its offer of land for the pooling station. The Petitioner in its letter dated
8.6.2009 (Annexure P-7) renewed its offer about the land for pooling station and
sought a confirmation from CTU in that regard. In the meeting on the Long Term
Access Applications in the Southern Region held on 15.6.2009 (Annexure P-8),
the following was decided about the pooling station:
“As regards the location of the pooling station, it was indicated that both
East Coast and NCC projects had offered land for establishment of the
Pooling Station. It was decided that the decision on this would be taken
separately after carrying out the analysis with respect to the locations of
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 37 of 63
the project vis-à-vis the location of the Angul Pooling Station where
power would be ultimately transferred for onward transmission.”
The petitioner in its letter dated 3.7.2009 (Annexure P-10) made the following
request with regard to the pooling station:
“We wish to submit that during the discussion on 15 th June and 25th June
2009, we have been told that the 400 kV D/C Talcher-Gazuaka
transmission line will be connected to the pooling station near East Coast
Power Project through LILO (in the land offered by us). We request that
this may be formally mentioned in a letter issued to us as the lenders, to
whom we had given this indication, have been insisting for the same.”
PGCIL in its letter dated 21.7.2009 (Annexure P-11) has clarified with regard to
the location of pooling station as under:
“Further with regard to para 2 of the referred letter wherein it has been
mentioned that ECEPL has been told about the LILO of BerhampurGazuwaka line shall be made at the pooling station to be developed in
the land offered by ECEPL, we would like to clarify that it has never been
indicated by us. In fact there had been conflicting claims from ECEPL and
NCC Vamshadra regarding availability of adequate land for pooling
station. Further NCC Vamshadra has contended that , by virtue of its
closer location to Angul Pooling station by about 55 kms, it is technically
superior option to develop pooling station near NCC Vamshadra
switchyard from cost and losses consideration.”
CTU in its letter dated 27.10.2009 intimated the grant of long term open access
for the generation projects in Srikakulam Area. However, before the BPTA was
signed, the petitioner vide its letter dated 25.3.2010 intimated CTU to change
the quantum of LTOA to 1320 MW (Gross). In the 9th meeting of Southern
Region constituents regarding Long term Open Access applications held on
13.4.2010, it was decided that power from each generation project shall be
pooled at Srikakulam pooling station through dedicated 400 kV D/C (quad) line
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 38 of 63
under the scope of generation developer. By letter dated 6.5.2010, the petitioner
was intimated about the grant of LTA. The petitioner signed BPTA on 5.7.2010
(Annexure P-19). As per the BPTA, the following are covered under the scope
of work of the petitioner:
“(i) Construction of 400 kV Quad line from Switchyard-Srikakulam Pooling
Station 400 kV D/c (quad) high capacity line.
(ii) Provision of 1x125 MVAR Bus Reactor at generation switchyard
(iii) Two nos of 400 kV bays each at East Coast generation switchyard &
Srikakulam Pooling Station.”
34.
It is evident from the above that though the petitioner has been offering a
piece of land measuring 90 acres from its generation area for locating the
pooling station, CTU has at no time committed that the pooling station would be
located at the plot offered by the petitioner. In fact in its letter dated 21.7.2009,
CTU has bluntly clarified that no such indication was ever given to the petitioner.
The transmission system was finalized in the meeting held on 13.4.2010 and
intimated to the petitioner on 6.5.2010. Subsequently, the petitioner has signed
the BPTA on 7.5.2010. As per the BPTA, it is the responsibility of the petitioner
to construct the 400 kV Quad line from Switchyard upto Srikakulam Pooling
Station. It is therefore clear that the pooling station was not to be constructed at
the site provided by the petitioner. Having signed the BPTA, the petitioner
should be prepared to construct the transmission line from its switchyard to the
pooling station of CTU.
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 39 of 63
35.
CTU in the 2nd JCC Meeting held on 2.2.2011(Annexure P-24) intimated
that land for the pooling station has been identified with tentative coordinates
18o41'33.43"N, 84o19'27.19"E. Subsequently, CTU vide its email dated
21.6.2012 (Annexure P-29) intimated the coordinate of Srikajulan pooling station
as 18o48'28" N 84o27'22" E. CTU vide letter dated 6.8.2012 informed the
petitioner that the land acquisition was in advanced stage and the possession
was expected shortly. CTU further informed that the tenders for preliminary work
had already been floated taking the identified location into consideration and the
main packages were in advanced stage of tendering. The petitioner vide its
letters dated 14.8.2012 and 21.8.2012 informed CTU that
as land for the
Pooling Station had not yet been acquired, it had identified three alternative
locations for the Pooling Station near the generating project and these lands
could be acquired within three months. In 15th meeting of the Southern Region
constituents held on 4.1.2013 regarding approval of LTOA and connectivity
application, CTU informed that from about 20 sites surveyed, CTU selected the
most suitable site. However, it was not enough to accommodate normal 765/400
kV GIS sub-station. In 9th JCC meeting held on 12.4.2013 CTU informed that
the land for the sub-station was likely to be acquired by May 2013 and
accordingly, the award for the sub-station package would be made thereafter.
36.
It is clear from the above that the petitioner was well aware of the
developments in regard to construction of pooling station from initial stage
onwards. At no stage, the petitioner was given any expectation or assurance by
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 40 of 63
CTU that the pooling station would be constructed on the plot offered by it.
Moreover, after signing the BPTA, the petitioner has approached for approval
under Section 68 and Section 164 of the Act and has been granted approval
under section 68 of the Act vide Government of India, Ministry of Power`s letter
dated 5.6.2011 and Section 164 approval vide order dated 13.1.2014. Both the
approvals have been granted for implementation of East Coast Energy
(Bhavenapadu) Generation Switchyard- Srikakulam Pooling station 400 kV D/C
quad line. One of the conditions in Section 68 approval is that the petitioner
would be required to take up implementation of the dedicated transmission line
matching with the commissioning of the pooling station to be implemented by
CTU. From the above, it clearly emerges that the pooling station of CTU was not
planned to be constructed on the land offered by the petitioner and the petitioner
would be required to construct the transmission line from its generation
switchyard till the pooling station of PGCIL for which the petitioner had applied
for and obtained the approval under Section 68 and 164 of the Act. Only on
account of optimizing its cost, the petitioner has been pursuing with CTU to
construct the pooling station at the site of its generation so that the petitioner
would not be required to construct the dedicated transmission line. Selection of
a site for the pooling station is a planning matter to be decided by CEA and CTU
and there is no provision in law under which the Commission can direct CTU to
locate the pooling station at a particular site. For all these reasons, this issue is
decided against the petitioner and accordingly, the first prayer is rejected.
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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Issue No.2: Whether it is the responsibility of CTU to construct the
dedicated transmission line from the generating station of the petitioner to
the pooling station of CTU?
37.
The petitioner has submitted that under the Connectivity Regulations,
2009, it is the responsibility of PGCIL to construct dedicated transmission lines
for thermal generating station with capacity of 500 MW above. The petitioner
vide its letter dated 27.7.2013 applied for connectivity for the generating station
under the Connectivity Regulations with the following request:
“1. Considering the drastic changes that have taken place from July 2010
till date, as explained above in „Background‟ and MOEF suspension
already causing a lot of financial implication on the project cost, kindly note
that any additional burden on the project cost will have serious implication
which may lead to relook by the lenders. In this regard, we request PGCIL
to consider our application for connectivity so that transmission line from
ECEPL project switchyard to the point of connection is built by PGCIL as
the capacity is above 500 MW.”
Since the application of the petitioner was rejected, the petitioner has raised the
point that its application should be considered under 2009 Connectivity
Regulations and the responsibility for construction of the dedicated transmission
line should be entrusted to CTU. Accordingly, the petitioner has sought a
direction to CTU to construct the dedicated transmission line from its generation
switchyard to the pooling station.
38. 2009 Connectivity Regulations came into force with effect from 1.1.2010
repealing the provisions of the 2004 Open Access Regulations. Regulation 34 of
the Connectivity Regulations provides as under:
“34. Repeal and Savings
(1) On commencement of these regulations, Regulation No.‟s 4(1)(a), 4(ii),
5(i), 6(i), 7, 8(i), 9, 10, 11, 12, 16(i), 18, as far as it applies to long-term
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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customers, and 31(i) of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Open
Access in inter-State Transmission) Regulations, 2004, shall stand repealed.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (1), long-term access
granted in accordance with the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission
(Open Access in inter-State Transmission) Regulations, 2004 shall continue
to be valid till the expiry of the term of long-term access.”
From the above it is clear that after coming into force of the 2009 Connectivity
Regulations, the provisions of 2004 Open Access Regulations in so far as they
relate to long term open access stood repealed. However, the long term access
granted under 2004 Open Access Regulations were saved till the expiry of the
term of the long term access.
39.
Clause 31 of the Detailed Procedure (approved by the Commission in
terms of Connectivity Regulations) provided as under:
“Treatment of Present Long Term Open Access Applications already made
to CTU
*************
2. Long term Open Access Application where system strengthening is required:
(i) The long term open access already granted and BPTA has been initialed
between generation developers and POWERGRID, like Orissa, or yet to be
signed/initialed and become operational, shall have to inform firm beneficiaries in
terms of para 22.7 of the detailed procedure atleast 3 (three) years prior to the
commencement date of open access. If applicant is already completed this timeperiod, then he shall have to firm up and inform beneficiaries in terms of para 22.7
of the detailed procedure along with the supporting documents (as explained in
the detailed procedure for long term access) within 6 (six) months of approval of
detailed procedure by CERC.
(ii) The Long Term Open Access already granted and BPTA is yet to be
signed/initiated, applicant shall have to inform firm beneficiaries in terms of Para
22.7 of the detailed procedure atleast 3 (three) years prior to the commencement
date of open access. If applicant is already within this time period then he shall
have to firm up and inform firm beneficiaries in terms of para 22.7 of the detailed
procedure along with the supporting documents as explained in the detailed
procedure for long term access within 6 (six) months of approval of detailed
procedure by CERC.
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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(iii) Application which are under process and who have already given the
consultancy charges for evolution of transmission system strengthening shall be
required to apply afresh without giving the application fees and clearly indicating
the quantum of power for connectivity and/or for Long Term Access separately.
They shall however, not be required to furnish application Bank Guarantee of Rs.
10,000/- per MW for the quantum of power for which Long term Access has been
sought. However, they shall also be required to submit the various documents as
prescribed in the detailed procedure for connectivity/Long term Access.
(iv) Applications which are under process and for which the consultancy charges
for evolution of transmission system strengthening have not been either paid to or
demanded by POWERGRID shall have to apply afresh as per the detailed
procedure for connectivity/LTA."
Under the above Procedure, the cases where LTOA has already been
granted and BPTA has either been signed or yet to be signed as on 1.1.2010
are not required to apply afresh. They are required to firm up the beneficiaries in
accordance with para 22.7 of the Detailed Procedure. It means that such
LTOA/BPTA were saved in terms of Regulation 34(2) of the 2009 Connectivity
Regulations and the parties will be bound by the provisions of said LTOA/BPTA.
40.
The petitioner applied for long term open access vide its letter dated
11.10.2007. After carrying out the necessary system studies, PGCIL granted
LTOA to the petitioner vide its letter dated 27.10.2009 for 2440 MW (Annexure
P-13) and asked the petitioner to sign BPTA. PGCIL vide its letter dated
4.11.2009 (Annexure P-14) sent the draft BPTA to the petitioner. As per the said
draft BPTA, dedicated transmission line is to be implemented by generation
project developer. Annexure 5 of the draft BPTA required the petitioner to pay
Bank Guarantee of `241 crore @ `10 lakh/MW. The petitioner vide its letter
dated 25.3.2010 (Annexure P-15) sought modification of LTA to 1320 MW. One
of the points highlighted by the petitioner was that it was prepared to pay Bank
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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Guarantee @ `5 lakh/MW and shall be at the net quantum as already agreed in
the meeting convened by CEA on 1.2.2010. It is pertinent to mention that Bank
Guarantee @ `5 lakh/MW has been prescribed in Regulation 27(2)(d) of 2009
Connectivity Regulations as well as the Detailed Procedure. In other words, the
petitioner sought only modification in the quantum of LTA and the payment of
Bank Guarantee in accordance with the 2009 Connectivity Regulations. The
petitioner did not seek construction of the dedicated transmission line by CTU
as provided in the Connectivity Regulations, 2009.
41.
The Commission considered the PGCIL‟s petition for regulatory approval
for the High Capacity Power Transmission Corridors (HPCTC) in Petition
No.233/2010. Certain issues like amount of Bank Guarantee to be provided,
requirement for signing of PPA and liability for construction of dedicated
transmission lines were raised. The Commission in its order dated 26.3.2010 in
Petition No.233/2009 dealt with the issues as under:
14. One of the IPPs, M/s. KSK Mahanadi Pvt. Ltd. submitted that it was
decided in the meeting held on 1.2.2010 in CEA that for the present lot of
cases, the generators would lay dedicated lines upto the specified pooling
points and the same dispensation would not be changed at this advanced
stage. This decision, according to the IPP, is a departure from the Central
Electricity Regulatory Commission (Grant of Connectivity, Long-term Access
and Medium-term Open Access in inter-State Transmission and related
matters) Regulations, 2009 (2009 Regulations) which provides that the
transmission system has to be developed upto the bus-bar of the generating
stations. While the petitioner has accepted Rs 5 lakh/ MW as BG as per the
provisions of the 2009 Regulations, the petitioner is unwilling to construct the
dedicated transmission line as per the provisions of the said regulations. M/s
Wardha Power Company Ltd has made a similar submission. Another
respondent, M/s. Navbharat Power Private Ltd. has submitted that it did not
sign BPTA because it was asked to submit BG by 31.3.2010 failing which
their application would not be considered whereas the 2009 Regulations
allow the BG to be submitted within three months of signing of BPTA.
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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5. We have considered the submissions of the petitioner, the beneficiaries
and the IPP developers. At this stage, the following issues need to be
addressed:
i) Construction of dedicated transmission lines by the CTU.
ii) PPAs to be signed with the beneficiaries for the IIPs.
iii) Time required for submitting the Bank Guarantee after signing the
BPTAs.
16. As regards the construction of dedicated transmission lines by the CTU,
we are of the view that under section 10 (1) of the Electricity Act, it is the
duty of the generating company to install, operate and maintain the
dedicated transmission lines in accordance with the provisions of the Act or
the rules or regulations made there under. The 2004 Regulations did not
provide for inclusion of the dedicated transmission lines as part of system
strengthening and accordingly the CTU has not planned the dedicated
transmission lines in the HCPTCs for which the regulatory approval has
been sought in this petition. However, recently in 2009, the Commission
after detailed deliberation has decided that the CTU should also develop the
dedicated transmission lines as part of planned and coordinated
development of inter-State transmission system and accordingly, provisions
have been made in the 2009 Regulations. Such arrangement cannot be
extended in case of the transmission lines which were planned prior to the
said regulations as it will delay the construction of the HCPTCs and
consequently bottle up the generation projects.
17. As regards the requirement for signing of PPAs with the beneficiaries,
we observe that the IPPs have not been able to come forward to sign the
PPAs, primarily because the States have not yet gone ahead with the
bidding process for evacuation of power. However, linking the signing of the
PPAs with regulatory approval will hamper the progress of the transmission
projects. The Tariff Policy issued vide Govt. of India in para 7.1.4 does not
make it mandatory for network expansion by the CTU/STU. The said para
reads as under:
“In view of the approach laid down by the NEP, prior agreement with the
beneficiaries would not be a pre-condition for network expansion.
CTU/STU should undertake network expansion after identifying the
requirements in consonance with the National Electricity Plan and in
consultation with stakeholders, and taking up the execution after due
regulatory approvals.”
In view of the above mandate of the Tariff Policy, we are of the view that the
CTU should carry out consultation with the stake holders and satisfy itself
about the bonafide nature of generation projects which are likely to
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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materialize during the next three years and submit the detailed report about
such projects, including the physical progress made wherever feasible and
approach the Commission by first week of April, 2010.
18. As regards the BG, some of the IPPs have argued for submission of the
BG within a period of three months from the date of signing of the BPTA in
accordance with the 2009 Regulations. At this point, the Commission would
like to clarify that the CTU had adopted an approach to take about 10% of
the estimated cost of the transmission system as Bank Guarantee which
works out to Rs.10-15 lakh/MW for the coverage of the risk towards
construction of the transmission system. However, taking note of the
concern of some of the IPPs and considering the provision in the 2009
Regulations, the Commission in the Record of Proceeding dated 12.01.2010
had directed the petitioner “to take Bank Guarantee in accordance with the
provisions of Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Grant of
Connectivity, Long-term Access and Medium-term open access in interState Transmission and related matters) Regulations, 2009 under the BPTA
even for the cases of open access prior to the Regulations”. The Bank
Guarantee of Rs 5 Lakh/MW for projects planned prior to the 2009
Regulations was allowed as a special dispensation which should not be
construed that all the provisions of the 2009 Regulations shall be applicable
to the IPPs whose applications have been considered and accepted by the
CTU for grant of LTOA under 2004 Regulations. We make it clear that if any
IPP is interested to be considered under the 2009 Regulations, it is at liberty
to do so for which all provisions of the said regulations shall apply. However,
in cases of IPPs which have already been granted LTOA by the CTU, such
IPPs should sign the BPTA with the Petitioner and deposit the BG at the rate
of Rs 5 lakh/ MW by 31.3.2010 in order to ensure that the progress of some
of the IPPs which are in the most advanced stage is not stalled due to other
IPPs.”
42.
The Commission had decided that those projects which were planned
prior to the operation of the Connectivity Regulations with effect from 1.1.2010
cannot be allowed the benefit of construction of their dedicated line by the CTU
as it would delay the construction of the HCPTCs and consequently bottle up the
generation projects. It is pertinent to mention that the petitioner was one of the
respondents in the said petition. The petitioner has not challenged the order
dated 26.3.2010. Therefore, the petitioner is bound by the said order and cannot
now claim that its dedicated transmission line should be constructed by CTU
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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since the transmission line in connection with its generation project was planned
prior to 1.1.2010.
43.
In the 9th meeting of Southern Region constituents regarding Long term
Open Access applications held on 13.4.2010 (Annexure P-16), the petitioner‟s
request for revised LTOA was considered. Considering the requirement of the
generation Project Developers in Srikakulam Area, CTU proposed the
transmission system as under:
Dedicated Transmission System:
Both the East Coast and NCC generation projects shall be stepped up
400 kV level and bus reactor of 1x125 MVAR to be provided at each
generation project switchyard.
Power from each generation project shall be pooled at Srikakulam
pooling station through dedicated 400 kV D/C (quad) line under the scope
of generation developer.
Common Transmission System:
Establishment of 400 kV pooling station in Srikakulam area with future
provision for 765 kV level.
Srikakulam Pooling Station-Angul 765 kV D/C lines (initially charged at
400kV)
Provision of 2x1500 MVA transformer at Angul 765/400 kV sub-station.
Angul-Jahrsugunda 765 kV D/C line
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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Jharsuguda-Dharamjaigarh 765 kV D/C line
Considering the commissioning schedule of generation projects, an interim
arrangement was proposed through LILO of one circuit of GazuwakaBehrampur 400 kV D/C transmission line at respective power plants which will
be further extended to Srikakulam Pooling Station when this sub-station gets
ready. With regard to the implementation of Transmission System, the following
was decided:
“7.5 Implementation of Transmission System
POWERGRID informed that for the common transmission system,
generation developers need to sign BPTA & submit BG. Based on above,
POWERGRID will approach CERC for regulatory approval. After getting
regulatory approval, POWERGRID shall obtain investment approval. The
commissioning schedule of the transmission system shall be as per the
CERC timeline after investment approval.
7.6 It was informed to the applicant that those who had applied for LTOA
under CERC Regulations, 2004 shall not be permitted for any more
revision in the LTOA quantum, target beneficiaries, location etc. For any
change in the LTOA considered and granted shall have to apply afresh in
line with the provisions of CERC Regulations, 2009. The representative
of East Coast mentioned that this is their final change in the capacity &
LTOA sought and are ready to sign BPTA and submit Bank
Guarantee(BG).
7.7 ED (SEF, CE & IT), POWERGRID informed that EAST Coast and
NCC shall sign the BPTA with POWERGRID on 26.4.2010 so that the
transmission which was submitted to CERC for regulatory approval and
put up at the 2nd priority may be taken up with CERC for consideration in
1st priority for grant of regulatory approval.”
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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44.
From the above, it is evident that the petitioner never raised the issue
that its application should be considered under Connectivity Regulations, 2009
for modification LTOA already granted. CTU clearly clarified that the BG is for
the common transmission system which means that the dedicated portion would
be implemented by the petitioner.
45.
The petitioner in Ground B of the petition has submitted that PGCIL
presented the scheme for regulatory approval of transmission system
associated with IPPs in Srikakulam Area which included construction of the substation of the generation switchyard of the petitioner. It has been further
submitted that the scheme was approved by the Commission vide its order
dated 31.5.2010. We have gone through our order dated 31.5.2010 in Petition
No.233/2009. Annexure VIII of the order which pertained to HCPTC VIII
(Srikakulam Area) is extracted as under:
“HCPTC – VIII (Transmission System Associated with IPP projects in
Srikakulam Area, Andhra Pradesh)
(a) Establishment of 2x1500 MVA, 765/400 kV Pooling station at
Srikakulam
(b) Provision of 1x1500 MVA, 765/400 kV substation at Angul.
(c) Srikakulam Pooling Station – Angul 765 kV D/c (initially charged at 400
kV)
(d) Angul – Jharsuguda – Dharamjaigarh 765 kV D/c
(e) Associated 400kV bays at Srikakulam & Angul substations
(f) Associated 765 kV bays at Angul, Jharsuguda & Dharamjaigarh substations.”
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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From the above, it is clearly evident that the Commission had accorded
regulatory approval for the construction of common transmission system for the
evacuation of power from IPP projects in Srikakulam Area. Therefore, the
contention of the petitioner that the dedicated transmission lines were approved
by the Commission as part of regulatory approval is not correct.
46.
The petitioner was granted LTOA by CTU vide letter dated 6.5.2010
(Annexure P-17) for 1320 MW. The petitioner entered into BPTA on 5.7.2010
(Annexure P-19). As per Annexure 2 of the BPTA, the petitioner is required to
execute the following dedicated system:
“3. East Coast Energy
project/March 2013
Private
Limited
(1320
MW)
generation
d) East Coast Energy Generation Switchyard-Srikakulam Pooling Station
400 kV D/c (Quad) capacity line
d) Provision of 1x125 MVAR Bus Reactor at generation switchyard
e) Two nos of 400 kV bays each at East Coast Energy generation
switchyard & Srikakulam Pooling Station.”
The petitioner has also paid a Bank Guarantee of `62.04 crore vide letter dated
17.7.2010 (Annexure P-20). The petitioner having entered the BPTA and paid
the Bank Guarantee has accepted the obligations under the BPTA which
includes construction of the dedicated transmission line.
47.
The petitioner vide its letter dated 27.7.2014 (Annexure P-40) applied for
grant of connectivity for 1320 MW mainly with the purpose that the transmission
line from its generation project to the point of connection should be built by CTU.
The petitioner has submitted that after grant of connectivity, it will apply for LTA
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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separately. The petitioner has also requested for adjustment of the Bank
Guarantee of `62.04 crore submitted at the time of BPTA. In other words, the
petitioner appears to have proceeded on the premise that by applying for
connectivity, the LTOA granted and BPTA signed earlier would be null and void.
It is clarified that the application of the petitioner amounts to abdication of its
contractual obligations under BPTA which cannot be done except without the
procedure prescribed in the BPTA. Para 5.0 of the BPTA which is relevant is
extracted as under:
“5.0 The Long term transmission customer shall not relinquish or transfer
its rights and obligations specified in the Bulk Power Transmission
Agreement, without prior approval of POWERGRID and CERC and
subject to payment of compensation in accordance with the CERC
Regulations issued from time to time.”
48.
It is noticed that the application of the petitioner vide letter dated
27.7.2014 for connectivity was considered in the 16th Meeting of the Southern
Region constituents regarding long term access and connectivity applications in
Southern Region held on 4.9.2013 (Annexure P-41). Paras 4.2 to 4.5 of the
minutes of the said meeting are extracted as under:
“4.2 ECEPL has submitted connectivity application for the same
generation project in the Srikakulam Area to process under the CERC
Regulations, 2009 so that the dedicated transmission line viz. Generation
Switchyard – Srikakulam Pooling station 400 kV Quad D/c line may be
considered under the coordinated planning of CEA and CTU and shall be
developed as ISTS transmission system.
4.3
COO(CTU) stated that in the approved Detailed Procedure of
CTU, a specific time was provided to the Long Term Open Access
(LTOA) applicants which were under process as per CERC Regulations,
2014, however after that time period there is no provision under present
CERC Regulations, 2009 to process again the already granted
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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applications. He further stated that strengthening system beyond
Srikakulam pooling station is in progress and shall be implemented as
per the BPTA schedule signed with ECEPL. Also as the applicant sought
connectivity from June 2015, the construction works for dedicated line
has not yet been started by the generation developer. It indicates that
there will be a mismatch between availability of dedicated line and the
generation project or availability of the transmission system which is
under implementation of POWERGRID. Such delay will be solely
responsibility on the part of generation developer.
4.4
ECEPL representative informed that due to various environmental
issues in the implementation of generation project, the cost of the
generation projects is already going beyond their estimates and their
lenders are asking them to cut down the cost of the generation project.
Therefore, it is not possible for the generation developer to implement the
dedicated transmission line by its own and requested to consider their
connectivity application so that dedicated transmission line can be
implemented as ISTS scheme.
4.5 Chairperson CEA stated that since very long time has passed, now
their request to migrate from Regulations, 2004 to Regulations, 2009
cannot be accepted at this point of time. Therefore, the generation
developer should take up the implementation of the dedicated
transmission line matching with the ISTS transmission system being
developed by POWERGRID for coordinated evacuation of power from
the generation project.”
49.
It is apparent from the above that the petitioner is seeking connectivity
only on commercial consideration that it is not in a position to implement the
dedicated transmission line on its own as the cost of its generation project has
gone beyond the estimates due to environmental issues. It is clarified that CTU
and CEA carried out system studies on the basis of the application of the
petitioner dated 27.10.2007 and based on the system study, the dedicated
transmission line was included under the scope of the generation project
developer. The petitioner now seeks modification of the coordinated
transmission planning already undertaken earlier in order to transfer the
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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dedicated transmission line from the scope of the generation project developer
to the scope of CTU. It is to be noted that under the Electricity Act, 2003, it is the
duty of the generating company to build, maintain and operate dedicated
transmission line. Therefore, the petitioner should have factored the cost of the
dedicated transmission line in its project cost. Even though Regulation 8(8) of
2009 Connectivity Regulations provides for
building up of
dedicated
transmission line by CTU for thermal generation project above 500 MW, it is not
necessary that it would be possible for CTU to execute it within the limited
timeframe available. This issue was considered by the Commission in Petition
No.116/2011 (PGCIL Vs. Thermal Powertech India Limited) and the
Commission in the order dated 19.12.2011 held as under:
"10...............................If it is not possible for the CTU to implement the
dedicated transmission lines included in the coordinated transmission planning
due to paucity of time, it may require the applicants to implement these
transmission lines as per the main provision of Regulation 8(8) of Connectivity
Regulations. In our view, the word 'shall' used in the proviso is directory in
nature and does not prevent the generating stations to construct the dedicated
transmission lines if so required by the CTU. Therefore, there is no requirement
to permit deviation from proviso to Regulation 8(8) of Connectivity Regulations
as prayed for by the petitioner (POWERGRID) in order to get the dedicated
transmission lines implemented by the project developer."
50.
As per CEA`s monthly progress report, scheduled commissioning of
Srikakulam pooling station-Angul 765 kV D/C is June, 2015 And therefore, the
transmission line required for evacuation of power under common transmission
system is expected to be ready by June, 2015. The relevant chart from CEA`s
monthly progress report is extracted as under:
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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51.
Even for the sake of argument, it is accepted that the construction of the
dedicated transmission line is entrusted to CTU under Regulation 8(8) of
Connectivity Regulations, it would require 36 months for CTU to execute the
transmission line as it has to follow the standard procedure of investment
approval, seeking various statutory permission/clearances and the normal
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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timeline for tendering process. The petitioner has indicated the commissioning
schedule of units-I and II of its generating station as December, 2015 and
March, 2016 respectively. Since the time available for the construction of
dedicated transmission line is around 14 months from now to match with the
generation project of the petitioner, CTU would not be able to complete the
dedicated transmission line by December, 2015. The petitioner has got the
sections 68 and section 164 clearances and is in the best position to implement
the dedicated transmission line within the available timeframe. We direct the
petitioner to put in its best efforts to complete the dedicated transmission line
expeditiously so that evacuation of power from its generating station does not
get bottled up.
52.
The petitioner has filed affidavit dated 7.8.2014 without seeking leave of
the Commission. In the said affidavit, the petitioner has given a confirmation that
it was not constructing the associated transmission system. CTU in its reply
dated 7.8.2014 has submitted that the affidavit be rejected and the petitioner be
directed to implement the dedicated transmission line matching with the
commissioning of the generation project. We do not approve of the practice to
file affidavits without the prior leave of the Commission. With regard to the
content of the affidavit, it is clarified that this Commission has not issued any
order restraining the petitioner to execute the dedicated transmission line and
therefore, the petitioner is liable for the contractual obligations under the BPTA.
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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Issue No.3 : Whether it is the responsibility of CTU to provide start-up
power to the petitioner?
53.
The petitioner has sought a direction to PGCIL to provide start-up power
for the purpose of testing and commissioning of its generating station. We have
to examine whether PGCIL is under any statutory or contractual obligation to
supply start-up power to the petitioner. Start-up power is required to start the
auxiliary equipments during testing and commissioning of the generating station.
It is the responsibility of the generator to arrange for start-up power. CTU has
not been entrusted either under the Act or under the regulations of the
Commission to arrange for start-up power for the generator. Under the Central
Electricity Regulatory Commission (Grant of Connectivity, Long-term Access
and Medium-term Open Access in inter-State Transmission and related matters)
(Fourth Amendment) Regulations, 2014, a generating company is allowed to
draw start-up power from the grid provided it has got connectivity with the grid.
In the present case, connectivity line falls under the scope of the petitioner and
therefore, if the petitioner is able to connect its generating station with the
pooling station of CTU, it would be able to draw start-up power.
54.
On perusal of the documents on record, it is noticed that in the Southern
Region constituents meeting held on January 13, 2010, CTU informed the
petitioner that power would flow from Srikakulam Pooling Station through
dedicated 400 kV D/C transmission line under the scope of generation
developer. It was also informed by CTU to the petitioner that by considering the
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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commissioning schedule of the generation project, an interim arrangement was
proposed through LILO of one circuit of 400 kV D/C Gazuwaka-Behrampur
transmission line, which will be further extended to Srikakulam Pooling Station
being constructed by PGCIL. CTU further informed the petitioner that 400 kV
D/C Gazuwaka-Behrampur transmission line is being constructed by Reliance
Power Transmission Limited and the petitioner should be in touch with RPTL in
regard to progress of the line. In the revised LTOA intimation issued vide CTU‟s
letter dated 6.5.2010, the following arrangement has been noted in Annexure-3
pertaining to dedicated part to be implemented by generation project developer:
“1.
East Coast Energy shall take up implementation of the above
dedicated transmission matching with the commissioning of the pooling
station to be implemented by POWERGRID. Further as a temporary
measure to facilitate drawal of start-up power, East Coast Energy shall
make LILO of one circuit of Behrampur-Gazuwaka 400 kV D/c line being
constructed under IPTC route. With the commissioning of the pooling
station, temporary LILO arrangement will be removed to restore the
Behrampur-Gazuwaka line.”
A similar provision was also made in the BPTA signed by the petitioner with
CTU on 5.7.2010. It is not clear as to how despite clear request of the petitioner
not to make any mention about the LILO of Berhampur-Gazuaka D/c line, the
interim arrangement through the LILO of one circuit of Berhampur-Gazuaka D/C
line was made in the intimation of LTOA and BPTA. It is to be noted that LILO
on Berhampur-Gazuaka D/C line was under the scope of the generation project
developer. The progress of the Berhampur-Gazuwaka line was being monitored
in the various Coordination Committee Meetings of IPPs granted LTOA in SR
and the petitioner was kept in picture. CEA vide its letter dated 28.9.2010
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
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(Annexure P-22) wrote to Reliance Power Transmission Limited (RPTL), the
developer of Berhampur-Gazuwaka line requesting RPTL to coordinate with the
petitioner for the LILO of one circuit of Berhampur-Gazuwaka line. The petitioner
vide its letter dated 30.11.2010 (Annexure P-23) brought to the notice of PGCIL
that it was doubtful about the readiness of Berhampur-Gazuwaka line by
September 2012 when the petitioner would require start-up power and
requested CTU to provide alternate source/solution to ensure that start-up
power is made available. In the 2nd Joint Coordination Committee Meeting held
on 2.2.2011, representative of RPTL confirmed that target date of BerhampurGazuwaka line was October 2012. In the 3 rd Joint Coordination Commission
meeting held on 1.4.2011, the same status was indicated and the petitioner was
asked to get in touch with RPTL. In the 4th Joint Coordination Committee
meeting held on 18.7.2011, it was brought out that RPTL was seeking one more
year of time to execute the Berhampur-Gazuwaka line. The representative of
CTU suggested the petitioner to explore possibility of taking start-up power from
any nearby 220/132 kV sub-station of APTRANSCO as is the practice with
NTPC projects and the representative of the petitioner agreed to explore the
possibility. The petitioner vide its letter dated 11.10.2011 addressed to Seretary
(Power) Government of India stated that the existing sub-stations in the nearby
vicinity of its generating station are not adequate to supply start-up power and
requested for instructions to CTU to provide suitable alternate source/solution
for start-up power and evacuation arrangement.
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 59 of 63
55.
From the above, it is evident that the construction of Behrampur-
Gazuwaka transmission line has not yet started due to delay in obtaining
Section 164 approval and subsequently pendency of the petition before this
Commission and appeal before the Appellate Tribunal. However as far back as
18.7.2011, the CTU had informed the petitioner that it should explore the
possibility of start-up power from the nearby sub-station of APTRANSCO. In its
letter to MOP, the petitioner has submitted that the existing sub-stations of
APTRANSCO were not adequate to supply start-up power. The petitioner in its
revised LTOA application dated 25.3.2010 had requested CTU as under:
“(d) Consequent to an interaction with APTRANSCO, the petitioner
would be able to obtain start-up power from the AP grid and the LILO to
Berhampur-Gazuaka 400 kV D/c line will not be required and may not
be mentioned in the letter of modification to the evacuation scheme.”
It is not understood as to how the petitioner who was requesting for not making
a provision for start-up power in the revised LTOA on account of availability of
start-up power from APTRANCO is subsequently taking a stand that the substations of APTRANCO are not adequate to supply start-up power.
56.
In our view, it is the responsibility of the petitioner to develop the
dedicated transmission line. The petitioner was aware that LILO of BehrampurGazuwaka was not feasible due to lack of progress on the BehrampurGazuwaka line. Therefore, the only alternative left with the petitioner for
evacuation of power from the petitioner's generating unit is dedicated
transmission line from its Switchyard to Srikakulam Pooling Station. However,
CTU in a number of Joint Co-ordination Committee meetings and LTOA
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 60 of 63
meetings of Southern Region constituents, informed the petitioner that it had to
construct the dedicated transmission line from generation switchyard to
Srikakulam Pooling Station. That being the case, the petitioner cannot seek a
direction to CTU to make arrangement for start-up power. The CTU is neither
under statute nor under the BPTA has obligation to make arrangement of startup power and therefore, this prayer is rejected.
Issue No.4 : Whether the petitioner is entitled to refund of money
deposited by it with CTU for construction of bays?
57.
The petitioner in its third prayer has requested to direct CTU to refund the
money paid as advance for construction of 2 nos of 400 kV bays at the pooling
station. On 27.9.2012, the petitioner paid an amount of `1,05,16,860/- after
deducting TDS on the gross amount of `1,16,85,400/- to CTU as advance for
execution of 2 nos 400 kV bays at Srikakulam Pooling Station. CTU is
constructing Srikakulam Pooling Station and while planning for the construction
of Pooling Station, PGCIL has also taken into consideration of extra bays which
are to be constructed for the petitioner as the petitioner paid advance for the
same. CTU in its submission dated 14.3.2014 has submitted that it has
acquired land for the construction of Srikakulam Pooling Station, the scope of
work of the Pooling Station also includes line bays of the petitioner. CTU has
submitted that Srikakulam Pooling Station will be commissioned by June 2015.
Considering all these facts at this point of time, the petitioner‟s prayer to direct
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 61 of 63
CTU to refund the money paid as advance for construction of 2 nos. of 400 kV
bays at the pooling station, is not agreed to.
58.
Summary of our findings:
(a)
The petitioner`s prayer to direct CTU to construct the Pooling
Station at Generation Switchyard is rejected.
(b)
Since the petitioner has already obtained approval under Section
68 and Section 164 of the Electricity Act, 2003 from Ministry of Power on
5.6.2011 and 13.1.2014, respectively, the petitioner is directed to
construct its dedicated transmission line from Generation Switchyard to
Srikakulam Pooling Station which falls within its scope as per the BPTA.
Therefore, the petitioner's prayer to direct CTU to build the dedicated
transmission line is rejected.
(c) The petitioner`s prayer to direct CTU to refund the money paid as
advance for construction of 2 bays at 400 kV sub-station at Srikakulam is
rejected.
(d)
It is the responsibility of the petitioner to arrange for start-up power
for commissioning of its generation project and no direction in this regard
can be issued to CTU.
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
Page 62 of 63
59.
Petition No. 311/MP/2013 is disposed of in terms of the above.
Sd/(A.K. Singhal)
Member
sd/(M. Deena Dayalan)
Member
Order in Petition No. 311/MP/2013
sd/(Gireesh B. Pradhan)
Chairperson
Page 63 of 63

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