Interview With : Gurdeep Singh, Chairman and Managing Director of NTPC
Updated on: 28 Jun 2016
From managing Gujarat State Electricity Corporation to being part of multinationals CLP and AES, and now heading thermal power giant NTPC, 51-year-old Gurdeep Singh has experience across the power industry. Three months after returning to his parent organisation as chairman and managing director, he speaks to Jyoti Mukul & Shreya Jai on a plan to add capacity and keep the energy cost low. Edited excerpts:
NTPC has been able to reduce power tariffs (rates). How was it made possible?
In FY16, our total cost was down to Rs 2.92 a unit against Rs 3.06 the previous year, due to reduction in both energy and capacity charges. Energy charges incurred on account of fuel came down to Rs 1.86 last year from Rs 2 in 2014-15. We sell approximately 20 billion units every month and if our cost comes down by 14p (a unit), there is a saving of nearly Rs 300 crore a month for the distribution companies.
Under UDAY (Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana), we are making all possible efforts to bring down energy charges. In spite of the increase in Clean Energy Cess on coal, a saving of Rs 446 crore was made in monthly billing of the equivalent energy supplied in April, as compared to a year before. Possible as a result of rationalisation of coal linkages, reduction in imported coal consumption, enforcement of third-party sampling of coal and other measures that led to reduction in energy charges of coal stations. We will bring down energy charges further.
Would this reflect in tariff rationalisation?
That depends from state to state and is the regulators' job but, ultimately, power cost should reduce for consumers. At a recent meeting of state power ministers in Goa, I asked my customers, the state distribution companies, not to ask for backing-down at our power stations. The single most important point there was that if my pithead power stations are running at maximum capacity, it is in the interest of consumers and we in turn also get the benefit. It is our responsibility.
There has been a recent increase in coal prices. When coal availability has gone up, should prices go up/ And, and what will be the impact of it on your tariffs?