Brajesh Singh has over 34 years of experience in the power generation industry. He spent a large part of his career, from 1985 to 2016, at NTPC. Thereafter, he joined Tata Power and worked with its subsidiary, Coastal Gujarat Power Limited, as chief (O&M). In 2019, he was deputed to Prayagraj Power Generation Company Limited (PPGCL) as CEO and key managerial personnel. PPGCL is owned by Renascent Power Ventures and currently owns a 1,980 MW TPP in Allahabad, a stressed asset taken over by it. “When the project was taken over by Renascent Power, there was a lot of excitement, many challenges and also concerns over how to handle the stressed asset,” he says. Various O&M best practices were adopted and SOPs streamlined to help turn around its performance. He proudly shares that all its units are now running at high availability factors. He cherishes this experience as the most memorable part of his career. The company’s performance has resulted in an “A” rating and won it the Indian Achiever Award 2021. Going forward, several digital initiatives have been planned for performance improvement. These include heat rate and APC improvement through the use of AI and ML; Smart Monitoring and Integrating Logic Expert for process automation; digital dynamic dashboard for real-time decision-making; and the use of RFID for logistics.
On the challenges facing the sector, he says, the key issues relate to the variation in energy demand, the huge penetration of renewables, high carbon emissions and ash disposal problems. He believes that over the next 40 years, businesses must be run in hybrid mode, based on bundled cost (thermal+renewables), where the blended cost proportion will provide a reasonable solution to customers considering demand scalability, availability, capacity domain and price. “Complete dependency on renewables will be a challenge because technological excellence in storage needs some time for a complete switchover,” he notes.
As for his management style, Singh says he initially adopted a “transactional leadership” style in order to deal with various challenges, but going forward, the paradigm will shift to a more transformational leadership approach. A mechanical engineering graduate from Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College, Singh also has a postgraduate degree in power generation technology from IIT Delhi and a postgraduate diploma in project management from IIM Indore.