Tata Power is keen to substantially grow its power distribution business, according to the company’s MD & CEO Praveer Sinha. Its current customer base of around 2.2 million consumers is likely to grow to 10 million in the next 3-5 years.
Likewise, the Tata Power expects to manage a demand load of 15,000 mw as against 5,000 mw today. The company is aiming at this growth through privatization and the distribution franchisee model, Praveer Sinha was addressing the media at the sidelines of the recent “Distribution Utility Meet 2018”, organized by Tata Power, in Mumbai.
Tata Power, through its joint venture with the government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, is a distribution licensee serving north and north-west Delhi. It is also a distribution licencee in Mumbai and a distribution franchisee in some cities like Ajmer.
Sinha expressed confidence in the power distribution franchisee business. Regarding the failed cases of distribution franchisees, he observed, “People with inadequate experience in power distribution come in and that creates a problem. Unless you have the right ecosystem, you cannot succeed. It is not only about technology but also about the ability to raise resources and to improve the network.”
The Tata Power MD was very optimistic of the distribution franchisee model emphasizing on successful examples like Bhiwandi, Agra, and four cities in Rajasthan – Ajmer, Bikaner, Bharatpur and Kota. In Ajmer, where Tata Power won the 20-year distribution franchisee mandate in June last year, aggregate technical & commercial losses have come down very sharply, Sinha said. Through a special purpose vehicle TP Ajmer Distribution Ltd, Tata Power is managing power distribution activities in the City Division-I and City Division-II areas.
Tata Power is looking at power distribution franchisee opportunities in Maharashtra (where it has bid for the Malegaon and Mumbra-Kalwa circles) and also Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkand and Odisha. In Odisha, Tata Power is said to be the frontrunner in the privatization bid of Central Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha, popularly known as CESU. This utility, with a customer base of over 2 million consumers, was privatized way back in 1999 with US-based AES Corp taking over the operations. The privatization was called off in 2001 and Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission is since in charge of CESU.
(Featured photograph shows a 66kV grid substation of Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd)