Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Over-dependence on Coal India a myth: Coal secretary


Days after the country's competition watchdog fined public sector monopoly Coal India, coal secretary S K Srivastava on December 20 said the so-called over-dependence on the company is a myth in light of the captive block allocations by the government.
Vested interests are not inclined to allow a review of the Coal Mines Nationalisation Act , Srivastava said at the ET Infra Focus summit. Earlier this month, the Competition Commission of India imposed a fine of 1,773 crore on Coal India on grounds that it had abused its dominant position in supply of coal to the industry. There has been a growing clamour to remove Coal India's monopoly in the market, especially in light of the supply shortages by the world's largest coal producing company.

The government is targeting to add 60,000 MW of coal-based power capacity during the 13th Five-Year Plan."Coal India will cater to 55% of this capacity while state utilities and private sector will cater to the remaining 45% (through captive coal blocks). So, I think, it is a myth that there is an excessive dependence on Coal India," said Srivastava, adding that the government has been trying to bring in state utilities and private sector into coal mining, except for commercial mining, for end-use purposes.

"We are working under few constraints under the legislative framework of the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act and we need to address to this Act. However, certain groups are not inclined to a review of the Act. There is a possibility of a negative impact on the availability of coal in the country if an immediate review of the Act is done," Srivastava said, while discussing the issue of flexibility in coal mining and supply constraints in the country. "We are looking at other issues first ." he added.

Jaypee set to sell two power units to TAQA, Canadian pension fund

Jaypee set to sell two hydro power units to TAQA, Canadian pension fund... The debt-laden Jaypee Group is close to selling two of its    three operating hydroelectric projects to a consortium led  by Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. PJSC, known as TAQA, and including a Canadian pension fund for at least $1.5 billion, according to two people close to development.

TAQA will buy a 51% stake in the projects, with a Canadian pension fund purchasing 39% and IDFC Alternatives Ltd, the private equity arm of infrastructure finance company IDFC Ltd, taking the remaining 10%, said the two people, who both spoke on condition of anonymity.

The transaction, which will raise funds for the Jaypee Group to pare more than Rs.50,000 crore of debt, could help accelerate consolidation in India’s beleaguered power sector, burdened by debt, delays in project approvals and fuel shortages. Slowing economic growth has hit power demand from industrial consumers in some parts of the country.

“The documentation is in progress. This will be the first exposure of this large Canadian pension fund in India,” said one of the people.

The person did not reveal the name of the Canadian pension fund.

It’s not Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), which forged a $200 million venture with real estate developer Shapoorji Pallonji Group last month to invest in commercial real estate in India, said the two people cited earlier. CPPIB took an 80% stake in the venture with Shapoorji Pallonji holding the rest.

The transaction, one of the largest hydro power deals in the country, is likely to be signed by this month end or early next month. The formal closure of the deal, with all regulatory approvals, may take up to three months, the two people said.

The Economic Times reported on 9 September that the Abu Dhabi Water and Electric Authority had emerged as the frontrunner to buy the two power assets from Jaiprakash Power Ventures Ltd, a part of the Jaypee Group, and that TAQA will possibly be the vehicle for the acquisition.

The power plants on the block are the 300 megawatts (MW) Baspa II and 1,000MW Karcham Wangtoo projects located in Himachal Pradesh.

“The Jaypee Group would be selling its 100% stake in two power plants and the proceeds would be used for bringing down the debt. This would be a landmark deal,” said one of the persons cited above.

Originally, the Jaypee Group wanted to sell off all its three projects, including the 400MW Vishnuprayag project, but the plant suffered damage in the cloudburst and subsequent floods that hit Uttarakhand in June.

Consulting firm EY, formerly known as Ernst and Young, is advising the Jaypee Group. A spokeswoman for EY declined to comment for this story. Jaypee Group chairman Manoj Gaur also declined to comment. “We cannot comment on market speculations,” a TAQA spokesman said. A spokesperson for IDFC declined to comment.

In September, the Jaypee Group sold its cement plant in Gujarat to UltraTech Cement Ltd for Rs.3,800 crore as part of the efforts to reduce debt.

On 4 October, a Jaypee Group spokesman told that the group was committed to reducing its Rs.56,000 crore of debt by Rs.15,000 crore by end of the current fiscal year. So far, the group has reduced about Rs.5,300 crore of debt through the sale of the cement plant and from internal accruals.

TAQA, which means energy in Arabic, is no stranger to India. Apart from holding a majority stake in Nagarjuna Construction Co. Ltd’s Himachal Pradesh power plant, the company also operates a 250MW lignite-based power plant in the Neyveli region of Tamil Nadu and wants to scale it up to 500MW.

Rival power producers such as Nagarjuna Construction and Lanco Infratech Ltd are also in advanced talks with potential strategic and financial investors to sell majority stakes in their operational power plants as they seek to reduce debt.
In March, GMR Infrastructure Ltd sold its 70% interest in GMR Energy (Singapore) Pte Ltd to FPM Power Holdings Ltd for $600 million.

Nagarjuna Construction is in the process of reducing its exposure to the power business by selling stakes to one of the units off Singapore’s Sembcorp Industries. The company has already signed a definitive agreement with TAQA to sell its entire stake in Himachal Sorang Power Pvt. Ltd.

Lanco Infratech is in talks with potential strategic and financial investors to sell its stakes in three power projects to pare debt. Lanco Infratech had a net debt of Rs.35,835.4 crore on its books as of 30 September.

In November, G. Venkatesh Babu, managing director of Lanco Infratech, said the company management was also considering options such as inviting strategic investors, disposal of assets, and corporate debt restructuring.

“One can see a lot of action in the power sector as far as mergers and acquisitions are concerned; many PE (private equity) funds and sovereign funds are looking at the Indian power sector with a lot of curiosity as they feel valuations are attractive,” said Sanjay Sethi, executive director and head of infrastructure at Kotak Investment Bank.
In a report released on 18 December, EY said India needs 15,000-20,000MW of fresh capacity addition every year to sustain its economic growth, and to achieve this, $230 billion of investments is needed in the power sector in the next five years.

JPMorgan Asset Management invested $150 million in the Bhaskar Group’s Diligent Power Pvt. Ltd (a 2,520MW power portfolio) in May 2013. Singapore-based Sembcorp is looking to acquire a 100% stake in a 1,320MW coal-fired project in Andhra Pradesh to double its capacity in India, and French energy company GDF Suez SA has signed definitive documents to acquire a 74% stake in a 1,000MW coal-fired power project owned by Meenakshi Energy and Infrastructure Holdings Pvt. Ltd in Andhra Pradesh.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Rs. 42,000-crore loss in power sector due to policy and bureaucratic logjam


The policy and bureaucratic logjam has caused a loss to the tune of Rs. 42,000 crore in power sector alone. The phenomenon has impacted 78,000 megawatt power production in coal and gas-based power plants, according to Arvind Kumar, Union joint secretary, Ministry of Finance. 

Speaking at Ravi Mathai Memorial Lecture held by the alumni of the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad at Hyderabad on Saturday evening, he said, “As of December 11, 400 projects worth Rs. 17.68 lakh crore in power, steel, coal, mining and petroleum are pending with Cabinet committee on investments for clearance. 

We need to ease logjam, improve quality of infrastructure to get commissioned and financed projects going.”

Delivering the keynote address, K.V. Kamath, non-executive chairman of board of directors, ICICI Bank, said the economy was given a wrong medicine in the form of increasing interest rates.

Srikanth Nyshadham +91-98665-06729

Friday, December 6, 2013

ACME partners French co Nouvelles to set up 200 MW solar projects in India

ACME partners French co Nouvelles to set up 200 MW solar projects in India

ACME Cleantech Solutions, an energy generation, management and conservation company, on Thursday, announced it joined hands with French renewable energy giant EDF Energies Nouvelles (EDF EN) to set up 200 MW solar power projects in India.

“EDF EN, the renewable energy arm of French state-run electricity utility √Člectricit√© de France S.A., and natural resources saving group EREN, will acquire 25 per cent each in ACME Solar to set up large scale solar projects in India,’’ an official statement by ACME Cleantech Solutions said here. ACME Solar will thus be a joint venture between ACME Cleantech, EDF EN and EREN. At present, ACME Cleantech has a 17.5 MW of solar generation capacity.

The company is developing a 25-MW project in Madhya Pradesh and another 25 MW in Odisha.

The joint venture plans to set up an initial portfolio of 200 MW of solar power projects in various phases.

“We believe EDF EN & EREN partnership will help us scale solar energy generation, and play an important role in the renewal sector,’’ Manoj Kumar Upadhyay, Chairman, ACME Cleantech said in the statement.

EDF EN CEO Antoine Cahuzac said the new partnership would establish themselves in the solar power market in a country with high level of demand for renewable energy.

India to set up HVDC transmission line with Nepal, Bhutan

India is working to set up an energy efficient power transmission line (HVDC) with Nepal and Bhutan as part of its energy security plans, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said on 05-12-2013. India also hopes to have power transmission connectivity with ASEAN and SAARC countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Myanmar, he said while addressing the World Energy Policy Summit 2013 here.
"We are also working on the India-Nepal HVDC link which will perhaps begin with providing power to Nepal in order ultimately to be able to take power (import) from Nepal.

The government has plans to augment the existing line to import upto 5,000 MW power from Bhutan by 2020 through HVDC (high voltage direct current) transmission line.

Again, same sort of thing is what we hope we will be able to do with Bhutan. Nepal and Bhutan will become a major source of supply of power to India," he said.

"Of course, we could have a grid that goes into ASEAN. We have road connectivity with ASEAN, but we would also have hopefully power connectivity with ASEAN, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and into Pakistan and perhaps into Afghanistan as well," Khurshid said.

He, however, did not elaborate on the transmission connectivity plans to ASEAN nations.
India has been working for the last few years to put in place a multilateral SAARC Market for Electricity (SAME) and has plans to set up a larger SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) transmission grid.

In October, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had dedicated to the nation the 71-km Baharampur-Bheramara HVDC transmission link, which connected electricity grids of India and Bangladesh.

The link is designed to facilitate cross-border electricity transfer of up to 500 MW from India to Bangladesh.

As far as Bhutan is concerned, India's transmission link with that country is already in place.

The government has plans to augment the existing line to import upto 5,000 MW power from Bhutan by 2020 through HVDC (high voltage direct current) transmission line.

On the other hand, Nepal currently imports about 150 MW power from India. Last year Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) had completed a 40 MW transmission line to the Himalayan nation. Besides, many Indian companies have plans to set up power plants in Nepal to tap its hydro-power generation potential.

In HVDC technology, less electricity is lost in transmission than with conventional AC technology. It also requires fewer transmission lines, which means less land has to be cleared.

Noting that removing energy poverty is critical for the country, Khurshid said the quality of electricity infrastructure in Indian villages needs to be improved.

"I go to many villages and I find that even by looking at it, it does not look like the infrastructure that should be in place in our times with the kind of expertise that is available in India," he said, adding providing uninterrupted power to the villages is still a challenge.

He, however, lauded the efforts to connect each and every village of the country under Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojna and said that about 97 per cent of the villages and about 75 per cent households now have access to electricity.
Khurshid said setting up infrastructure for receiving LNG (liquefied natural gas) was also a major challenge.

Moreover, India is increasing its electricity generation from renewable energy sources like solar and wind and could use it to replace the traditional sources to an extent, he said.
The country has plans to generate about 30,000 MW in next 5 years from renewable energy sources. Of this, 15,000 MW will be wind energy and 10,000 MW solar energy, he added.
Source- Indian Express

Monday, December 2, 2013

Head Quality- Power Station

  • To systemize the efforts in the areas of (engineering), manufacturing, erection, commissioning and operation for building up high reliability and operational availability of the fossil fuel (Thermal) Power plants.
  • To encourage reliance on the principles of quality control than on final inspection and testing.

Job Description
  • To set up Quality Assurance Department at Corporate Office and Project sites.
  • Identification of QA system requirements for manufacturing and field installation of equipment.
  • Review of technical specifications with respect to quality requirements.
  • Evaluation of Quality Assurance Programme including the quality Organisation of the bidders.
  • Review of contractor’s/ manufacturer’s QA programme.
  • Assist in the development of Quality Assurance programmes by the contractors in such cases where the contractors do not have detailed quality assurance programme of their own.
  • Quality Surveillance for monitoring the implementation status of the systems and procedures with respect to management of quality by contractor/ supplier.
  • Audit during operation with regard to adherence to the approved operation and maintenance procedure by the operation and maintenance staff.
  • Analyze feedback information from operating plants and update inspection and other check lists, procedures, etc.
  • Identifying the training needs in the area of Quality Systems, welding, NDE, etc.
  • To organize a group to carry out failure analysis of components, material during manufacturing, erection, operation and maintenance.
  • To implement the best practices on quality with appropriate tools, procedures and processes.
  • To generate and improve the knowledge base of Quality practices.
  • To ensure the recruitment of a Corporate Quality Assurance(QA) team and the inspection team.
  • To ensure the training of adequate number of Quality inspectors. The inspection team shall be posted at sites after proper training by the Corporate QA team.
  • To provide guidance in preparation and implementation of the Quality plan.
  • To generate Quality reporting formats and procedures.
  • To identify and pre qualify the reputed and reliable third party Quality agencies.
  • To Visit Site(s) for inspection / supervise to ensure that the policies are being implemented and suggest alternate method(s), processes etc, as required.
  • To ensure that the Quality objectives are part of the Contract and clearly specify the hold points.
  • To interact with the Contractors/ Vendors for submission of their Quality Assurance Plan, review the plan and ensure all our requirements are met.
  • To Introduce automation for the total processes
  • To design and define the audit processes for continual improvement of Quality (The audit shall be done on the contractor’s works, both product and process).
  • To ensure that trainings/ Quality awareness programs are conducted regularly.
  • To identify the non conformance's, suggest perfect technical solutions and close the NCR.
  • To prepare MIS on Audit findings, pending NCRs, the status of major NCRs and the action plan for Corrective Action.
  • To escalate the critical or contractually disputed NCRs to top management in the quickest possible time.
  • To review the existing system continuously, suggest for amendments and preventive measures.

  • To identify a problem and offer solutions in the area of Quality Management
  • Reviewing and finalization of Quality Plans
  • Carrying out Quality Audits on manufacturers, project sites and on any other operations as appropriate
  • Decision making for resolving any Quality issues
  • Approval of expenditure incurred by the department at the Corporate office
  • Sanctioning of leaves of the team at Corporate office

Education & Experience

  • Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical)
  • 20 years of experience in the area of manufacturing, erection, maintenance of Thermal Power Station with full exposure to Quality Systems at least for 8 years
  • Additionally knowledge of welding/ metallurgy with Non Destructive Exams requirements is required.
  • Knowledge/ exposure to various International Standards and practices.

Hiring AVP / Sr. GM – O&M (Thermal Power Plants)

  • To be responsible for maximizing availability at rated capacity in consistent  manner of all generating units with available resources and constraints
  • To be responsible for continuously improving the generating efficiency of units and machinery with consideration of cost economy of operation of the Power Generating Stations

Duties & Responsibilities
  • Ensure highest availability of the equipments and systems to meet Generation Target.
  • Ensure optimum mean time between failure (MTBF) and mean time to repair (MTTR) is achieved
  • To prepare maintenance plan for all the operational plants in the Group in advance on a quarterly basis with cost thereof and analyse variance thereof for appropriate corrections / decisions.
  • Ensure high reliability and efficiency of the plant equipment & systems in coordination with efficiency cell and other departments
  • Ensure prompt response to plant operational requirements
  • To list all the technical issues in plants, visit the plants for detailed understanding and analyse for design, maintenance or operational parameters and take appropriate decisions and / or put up for approval to management.
  • Plan and implement Short term, Long term and Annual maintenance schedule.
  • Monitor consumption of spares and consumables.
  • Optimizing inventory required for maintenance activities of the power plant
  • Provide expertise and technical assistance in procurement of spares & equipments
  • Technical assistance and guide for reverse engineering as import/ OEM spares substitute
  • Guiding for specifications and quality conformance for spare parts procurement 
  • Mentoring O&M personnel for their own development  and performance improvement
  • Development of SMP and compliance to SMPs
  • Review and monitor day-to-day operation and maintenance practices
  • Review SOPs as developed from stations for value addition 
  • Be physically presence (as possible) and guide during major maintenance activities for achieving quality in time targeted manner in
  • Finalize the scope of service contracts
  • Review maintenance contract activities  vis-√†-vis contract
  • To ensure that service providers are complying to the terms of the contracts and take appropriate steps as required to ensure objectives of contracts are achieved and / or escalate for appropriate decisions
  • Study and evaluate offers of up-coming projects on O&M perspectives, at project stage and provides technical recommendations to the management
  • Review and monitor resource availability at different Power Stations and suggests optimum utilization
  • Participate in pre- & post-bidding discussions, clarifications and recommendations in O&M perspectives
  • Recommend steps to maximize capacity utilization on daily, monthly & yearly basis for generation of targeted power with adherence to rated operating parameters on daily basis
  • Formulate guidelines for Annual Overhaul of units, finalizes scope of works and monitors execution with time & quality
  • Ensure schedule, quality, safety  are scrupulously implemented in maintenance activities
  • Ensure compliance to statutory requirements as applicable
  • Trouble shooting through direct involvement, guidance  & execution on critical technical/ engineering maters in innovative way  
  • Assist in budget planning and allocation for spares & services as maintenance expenses and monitor the expenditure is within budget.
  • To have an overall understanding of the budget and work with all the teams to ensure that the same is achieved.
  • To have a clarity on delegation of powers entrusted and also have budget in place for smooth functioning of the department
  • To Automate processes and systems to facilitate seamless information for appropriate analysis and decisions at all levels
  • To participate in recruitment of the team as a technical member of Recruitment team.
  • Enable the team to perform effectively by delegating / assisting / guiding / counseling / motivating and developing team members.
  • Monitor the status of employee relations in the Department and initiate pre-emptive action to maintain satisfactory / harmonious employee relations.
  • To project generation for all operational plants (as received from BDG) in the Group in advance on a monthly basis with cost thereof and analyse variance thereof for appropriate corrections / decisions.
  • To list all the technical issues in plants, visit the plants for detailed understanding and analyse for design, maintenance or operational parameters and take appropriate decisions and / or put up for approval to management.
  • To have overall understanding and plan appropriate Inventory with optimized cost of fuel, water and consumables to ensure above is achieved. 
  • To Create and Review SOPs for all areas of the plant and ensure compliance thereof.
  • To ensure that service providers are complying to the terms of the contracts and take appropriate steps as required to ensure objectives of contracts are achieved and / or escalate for appropriate decisions
  • To have optimum experienced and trained staff and also plan appropriate training as deemed fit at all levels.
  • To have all the technical issues noticed during operations attended for planned / on line maintenance in planned and timely manner.
  • To ensure in time compliance of all statutory issues.
  • To ensure highest standard of safety, quality in Operations and house-keeping in plants is maintained.
  • To coordinate with business development group for scheduling of Power and also for billing to customers
  • To Automate processes and systems to facilitate seamless information for appropriate analysis and decisions at all levels
  • To have an overall understanding of the budget and work with all the teams to ensure that the same is achieved.
  • To submit MIS Report to Management, Maintenance, Fuel, Logistics, Mining, Commercial, Human Resources, by-products disposal group, Environmental Group specially highlighting key issues requiring appropriate clarification / direction / implementation / approval.
  • To have a clarity on delegation of powers entrusted and also have budget in place for smooth functioning of the department

The position reports to Director
Minimum Requirement
B.Tech (Mechanical / Electrical) with minimum 25-30 years of experience in Operations & Maintenance of Coal and Gas based Power Plants.