Andhra Pradesh

Expert committee to study RTPP problems

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Employees oppose takeover move by NTPC, want panel to consider their views

The State government has constituted a four-member expert committee to examine the problems being faced by the 1,650-MW Rayalaseema Thermal Power Plant (RTPP) and suggest steps to overcome them amidst reports that the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) is trying to acquire it and has officially sought details thereof from the State Energy Department.

The committee has P. Gopala Reddy (former CMD of A.P. Southern Power Distribution Company Limited) as Chairman and Rajagopal Reddy, Rama Rao and Usha Ramachandran as members, and AP-Genco Director (Finance) as convener.

Members of the APSEB Engineers’ Association (APSEBEA) and the electricity employees’ unions had expressed their concern over the takeover move at a meeting with Energy Secretary N. Srikant last week.

They are now hopeful that the expert committee will make a proper analysis and duly take their views into account before announcing remedial measures.

‘Let it be with Genco’

They are demanding that the RTPP should be retained as a State government utility (with AP-Genco) and not handed over to the NTPC, asserting that operational and performance issues can be sorted out. The basic argument is that RTPP can be turned around, and there is no need for outright sale.

The government’s observation is that the RTPP is suffering from multiple issues, including high unit cost, capital investments, and coal problem, and leaders of unions and associations of the A.P. power utilities have represented many issues that require an examination and consultation by experts.

The government has mandated the committee to submit its report within one month to take appropriate action.

The unions are arguing that the takeover of RTPP would leave the AP-Genco with a depleted generation capacity (to the extent of 1,650 MW) and its replenishment not only takes years but also the cost of power from new units in the future would be far higher.

It would, therefore, be a foolish decision to let the NTPC buy out RTPP, an office-bearer of APSEBEA opined, while pointing out that the RTPP stood all-India first in terms of PLF (97%) and bagged several awards for 11 years continuously from 1997.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 12:42:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/expert-committee-to-study-rtpp-problems/article30479660.ece

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