With the state power utility showing no interest in renewing the power purchase agreement with the BSES Kochi Pvt Ltd (BKPL), there are chances that the government might take over the thermal power plant set up by Reliance Infrastructure.
Top sources in BKPL revealed that Reliance would not reject any proposal from the government on the takeover of the Naphtha-based 165 MW thermal power plant commissioned in 2001. "The company still wish for the renewal of the power purchase agreement between KSEB and BSES. But, the board and the government are not interested in the same. We don't wish to relocate the plant to anywhere else. Neither the BSES nor the government has so far initiated any formal talks regarding the takeover. But we have given enough hints and it seems the political leadership is more interested in taking over the plant than extending the power purchase agreement," they said.
Senior officials in power department too confirm that the plant's takeover was suggested by the board in 2015, but no policy decision was taken by the then UDF government. The 15-year power purchase agreement with BSES had come to a close on October 2015.
Though the UDF government gave in principal approval for the extension of the power purchase pact, the unions argued against the deal by saying that the board had given Rs 1,490 crore to BKPL as fixed cost from 2001 to 2015.
"The government may think about the takeover on the ground that the state needs a good mix of power generating units to ensure minimum sustainability. Also, it would not be wise to close down a plant that can be converted into a gas-based one. Such issues are to be addressed before jumping into conclusions," government sources said.