POWER GRID CORPORATION OF INDIA LIMITED Vs. NTPC LIMITED AND ORS.
CENTRAL ELECTRICITY REGULATORY COMMISSION
POWER GRID CORPORATION OF INDIA LIMITED
Ntpc Limited And Ors.
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(1.) THE petitioner, Power Grid Corporation of India, has filed these petitions under Section 79(1)(c) read with Section 19 of the Electricity Act, 2003 (Act) for revocation of the transmission licences granted to the respondents, North Karanpura Transmission Company Ltd. (NKTCL) and Talcher -II Transmission Company Limited (TTCL). Since the prayers in both petitions are common, both petitions are disposed of through a common order.
Background of the cases
(2.) RURAL Electrification Corporation Transmission Projects Company Limited (RECTPCL) was appointed as the Bid Process Coordinator for selection of the Transmission Service Providers in accordance with Tariff Based Competitive Bidding Guidelines for Transmission Service issued by the Central Government under section 63 of the Electricity Act, 2003 (the Act) in respect of the following projects:
"(a) Transmission System -System Strengthening in Northern Region for import of power from North Karanpura and other projects outside the Northern Region and System Strengthening in Western Region for import of power from North Karanpura and other projects outside the Western Region and also for power evacuation from projects within Western Region;
(b) Transmission Systems -Augmentation of Talcher -II Transmission System"
For this purpose, North Karanpura Transmission Company Limited (NKTCL) and Talcher Transmission Company Limited (TTCL) were incorporated as Special Purpose Vehicles by Rural Electrification Corporation Transmission Projects Company to initiate the work on the projects and subsequently to act as Transmission Service Provider (TSP) after being acquired by the successful bidders. Based on the tariff based competitive biddings, Reliance Transmission Company Limited (RTCL) emerged as the successful bidder and Letters of Intent were issued to RTCL on 18.12.2009. TTCL and NKTCL were acquired by RTCL on 27.4.2010 and 20.5.2010 respectively as its fully owned subsidiaries. NKTCL and TTCL also entered into Transmission Service Agreements with the Long Term Transmission Customers (LTTC) of the projects on 10.9.2009 after these companies were acquired by RTCL, the TSAs were deemed to have been signed by RTCL. Thereafter TTCL approached the Commission for adoption of transmission charges and grant of transmission licence and the Commission vide order dated 4.11.2010 in Petition No. 145/2010 adopted the tariff and vide order dated 8.11.2010 in Petition No. 146/2010 granted transmission licence to TTCL valid for a period of 25 years to discharge the functions as the Transmission Service Provider. The Commission vide order 13.9.2011 in Petition No. 170/2011 adopted the tariff and vide order dated 22.12.2010 in Petition No. 171/2010 granted transmission licence to NKTCL to discharge the functions as the Transmission Service Provider.
It is pertinent to mention that approval under section 68 of the Act for laying the overhead lines was accorded by Ministry of Power, Government of India to NKTCL on 8.12.2008. Similarly, approval under section 68 of the Act was accorded in favour of TTCL on 8.12.2008. As per the terms and conditions of the said approval, the works on the transmission projects were required to start within three years from the date of approval. NKTCL and TTCL also applied to Ministry of Power Government of India for authorization under section 164 of the Act on 9.11.2010 and the authorizations under section 164 of the Act were issued by Ministry of Power on 11.8.2011.
(3.) DURING the pendency of their requests for authorization under section 164 of the Act, NKTCL and TTCL filed Petitions No. 169/2010 and 170/2010 respectively seeking extension of the date of commercial operation of the projects and escalation of input/capital cost related to the projects on the grounds of existence of force majeure events on account of (a) absence of the requisite authorizations under section 164 of the Act, (b) the risk of lapse of permission granted under section 68 of the Act, (c) the non -designation of the Sponsoring Authority under the Project Import Regulations for the purpose of availing concessional customs duty, (e) increase in cost of inputs after submission of the bids, (f) on the ground of change in law on account of enhancement of Excise Duty by the Central Government by notification dated 26.2.2010 issued by Department of Revenue on certain components such as steel, zinc, and aluminum etc. Additionally, the delay in adoption of tariff was claimed as a force majeure event in case of NKTCL.;
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