The operational performance of power utilities has improved over the past year. There has also been a notable increase in power demand, which is reflected in the increasing utilisation levels measured by the plant load factor (PLF) of thermal power plants (TPPs). In contrast, transmission utilities exhibited a mixed trend in the past year. While some reported a decline in transmission losses, others reported an increase. On the other hand, the performance of discoms has improved. At the all-India level, AT&C losses have reduced to 13.5 per cent (provisional) in 2022-23, from 16.4 per cent in 2021-22 and 22.3 per cent in 2020-21.
Power Line presents an overview of the performance of utilities across the power sector during the past year…
The national PLF of TPPs stood at 64.15 per cent during 2022-23, an increase of 5.24 percentage points from the 58.91 per cent recorded in 2021-22. Of the 34 utilities tracked by Power Line Research during 2022-23, 26 utilities reported an increase in PLF over the previous year. The highest PLF (88.52 per cent) was reported by Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), which operates the 1,200 MW Singareni TPP in Telangana, followed by Torrent Power Limited with a PLF of 88.23 per cent.
Sector-wise, the central sector recorded the highest PLF during 2022-23. The average PLF of central sector-owned plants stood at 74.67 per cent, higher than the 69.44 per cent recorded in the previous year. In the state sector, the PLF was recorded at 61.86 per cent during 2022-23, significantly higher than the 54.61 per cent recorded a year ago. In the private sector, the PLF increased from 53.48 per cent in 2021-22 to 56.64 per cent in 2022-23.
Among central utilities, NTPC Limited recorded a PLF of 75.74 per cent during 2022-23, 5.39 percentage points higher than its previous year’s record of 70.35 per cent. NTPC’s best performing plant during 2022-23 was the Korba super thermal power station (STPS) in Chhattisgarh, which recorded a PLF of 91.15 per cent, whereas its lowest PLF of 48.69 per cent was recorded at its Khargone STPS in Madhya Pradesh. Among other central sector utilities, the Damodar Valley Corporation recorded an increase of 4.47 percentage points in its PLF, from 68.96 per cent during 2021-22 to 73.43 per cent during 2022-23, whereas the PLF of NLC India Limited decreased from 71.31 per cent to 68.87 per cent during 2022-23.
At the state level, SCCL was the best performing utility with an impressive PLF of 88.52 per cent during 2022-23, which is well above the average state sector PLF of 61.86 per cent as well as the national average. West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited was the second-best performing state utility with a PLF of 85.36 per cent, followed by Odisha Power Generation Corporation Limited with a PLF of over 76.92 per cent and Telangana State Power Generation Corporation Limited (TSGenco) with a PLF of 71.65 per cent during 2022-23. Only two state utilities, SSCL and TSGenco, recorded a decline in PLF during 2022-23 compared to 2021-22, while the rest reported an increase from the previous year’s level. The highest increase in PLF was reported by Haryana Power Generation Corporation Limited (HPGCL) and Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL). HPGCL’s PLF increased by 34.95 percentage points, going from 36.56 per cent during 2021-22 to 71.51 per cent during 2022-23. Meanwhile, PSPCL recorded an increase of 24.05 percentage points, from 24.27 per cent during 2021-22 to 48.32 per cent during 2022-23.
In the private sector, PLFs varied widely, ranging from 19.56 per cent to 88.23 per cent. CESC Limited, Essar Power Madhya Pradesh Limited, Essar Power Gujarat Limited, Coastal Gujarat Power Limited, RattanIndia Power Limited, Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited (AEML) (Dahanu TPP) and Torrent Power Limited (Sabarmati TPP) witnessed an increase in PLFs during the review period. All other private sector utilities registered a decline in their PLFs. Five private utilities reported PLFs higher than the national average. These are Jindal India Thermal Private Limited (JITPL), RattanIndia, AEML, Sasan Power Limited and Torrent Power Limited (Sabarmati TPP). The highest year-on-year decline in PLF was reported by Sasan Power Limited, which saw its PLF go down from 94.19 per cent during 2021-22 to 85.8 per cent during 2022-23. Meanwhile, the highest year-on-year increase in PLF was reported by Essar Power Gujarat Limited, which registered a PLF of 19.56 per cent during 2022-23 from zero generation during 2021-22.
The performance of state transmission utilities exhibited a mixed trend during 2022-23, with utilities tracked by Power Line Research reporting transmission losses in the range of 1.09 per cent for Power Transmission Corporation of Uttarakhand Limited (PTCUL) to 3.27 per cent for Uttar Pradesh Power Transmission Corporation Limited (UPPTCL) during 2022-23.
Of the 10 utilities for which data is available for 2022-23, four utilities registered a decline in their transmission losses during 2022-23 over the previous year. Meanwhile, five utilities – PTCUL, Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Limited (HVPNL), Transmission Corporation of Telangana Limited (TSTRANSCO), Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Limited and Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) – registered an increase. One utility, Bihar State Power Transmission Company Limited (BSPTCL), did not register any change.
Among the utilities tracked, PTCUL reported the lowest transmission losses at 1.09 per cent, followed by HVPNL at 1.93 per cent. Meanwhile, Punjab State Transmission Corporation Limited, TSTRANSCO, Transmission Corporation of Andhra Pradesh Limited, Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited and BSPTCL recorded losses of 2-3 per cent during 2022-23. The remaining state transcos reported losses in the range of 3.14-3.27 per cent, including state utilities of Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Maharashtra. The transco with the highest loss of 3.27 per cent was UPPTCL.
Data was collated by Power Line Research for 60 discoms (45 state-owned distribution utilities and 15 private utilities) from tariff orders, the BEE energy audit report and company reports. It was observed that among the state utilities, AT&C losses ranged from as low as 0.5 per cent for Tata Power to as high as 44-54 per cent for the Jammu & Kashmir Power Development Department (JKPDD) during 2022-23. A total of 33 state utilities reported a decline in AT&C losses during 2022-23 compared to 2021-22. The most significant improvements were reported by TP Northern Odisha Distribution Limited, TP Central Odisha Distribution Limited, TP Southern Odisha Distribution Limited, TP Western Odisha Distribution Limited and Tripura State Electricity Corporation Limited, which reported a reduction of 11-13 percentage points in AT&C losses.
Among the state utilities, Ajmer Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (AVVNL) was the best performer with AT&C losses of 3 per cent during 2022-23. In addition, 17 state-owned utilities reported/estimated AT&C losses of less than 15 per cent during 2022-23. These are Andhra Pradesh Central Power Distribution Company Limited (APCPDCL), Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (APEPDCL), Andhra Pradesh Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (APSPDCL), Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company Limited (DGVCL), Madhya Gujarat Vij Company Limited (MGVCL), Goa Power Department, Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (DHBVNL), Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (UHBVNL), Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited (UGVCL), Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company Limited (GESCOM), Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM), Kerala State Electricity Board Limited (KSEB), Madhya Pradesh Paschim Kshetra Vidyut Vitran Company Limited, Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited, AVVNL, and Kanpur Electricity Supply Company Limited.
The worst performing state-owned utilities during 2022-23 were JKPDD, Northern Power Distribution Company of Telangana Limited, and Madhya Pradesh Poorv Kshetra Vidyut Vitaran Company Limited with AT&C losses of 54 per cent, 36.33 per cent and 30.18 per cent respectively.
Meanwhile, private sector discoms continued to report a steady performance with losses of less than 10 per cent over the past couple of years. Only the four Odisha discoms that were acquired by Tata Power during 2019-20 and 2020-21 reported losses of 11-22 per cent. Tata Power Mumbai’s AT&C loss during 2022-23 was less than 1 per cent. Meanwhile, AEML reported AT&C loss of 5.93 per cent during 2022-23. Among the Delhi discoms, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited, for which information was available, recorded AT&C losses of 6.5 per cent. In Gujarat, the AT&C losses of Torrent Power-Surat and Torrent Power-Ahmedabad stood at 3.17 per cent and 3.74 per cent respectively. Meanwhile, Noida Power Company Limited’s (NPCL) AT&C loss was recorded at 8.1 per cent.
Overall, power utilities have shown signs of recovery in their operational performance. The thermal power generation segment, which was reeling from declining PLFs, has shown improvement due to an increase in power consumption. The electricity distribution segment has also witnessed improvement in its operational performance. The Late Payment Surcharge Rules have allowed discoms to clear their past dues in equated monthly instalments. Going ahead, the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme is expected to strengthen the distribution network and enhance the operational and financial performance of utilities.