Gas-based power projects may forgo concessions: Ind-Ra

After negative bids for imported re-gasified liquefied natural gas for stranded gas-based power projects, concessionaires may decide to reduce these concessions going forward, says India Ratings.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 25, 2016, 17:45 PM IST

Mumbai: After negative bids for imported re-gasified liquefied natural gas for stranded gas-based power projects, concessionaires may decide to reduce these concessions going forward, says India Ratings.

According to the report, the negative bid is a positive for the sector as the plants are no longer dependent on the government subsidy.

At the third round of reverse e-auction to avail subsidy to buy imported re-gasified LNG, the price bids entered the negative zone of Rs 0.03/kwh. The negative bid involves reverse bidding for the subsidy amount to come from the power system development fund (PSDF).

A zero bid indicates the power producers wish to take no subsidy while a negative bid entails the companies would pay a premium to the government in return.

According to the report penciled by associate director of India Ratings, Vivek Jain, a negative bid reflects the fall in prices of spot natural gas, in-line with the decline in global crude prices along with the concessions provided by various stakeholders.

Though the negative bid is a positive for the sector, these bids have already priced in that the concessions provided to the stakeholders due to waiver of customs duty, VAT, CST, service tax and octroi as well as reduction in market margins and pipeline tariffs, will remain.

Also, the tariff being paid by discoms at Rs 4.7/kwh is still higher than the cost at which they can buy short-term power from exchanges, the report said.

The negative bids come against the expectations of aggressive bidding. Prior to the auctions, the government had lowered the per unit PSDF support to Rs 0.41/kwh from Rs 1.45/kwh in Phase-II of the auction period for October 2015-March 2016.

In the first phase of auctions for the period June- September 2015, the same was Rs 1.74/kwh.

In the current auction, nine plants with a cumulative capacity of 5,942 MW were allotted 7.62 mscmd compared with the auctioned 8.9 mmscmd, which reflects that some developers perceived higher risk in this round and hence refrained from participation.

The landed cost of gas for the developers needs to be less than USD 7.2/mmBtu for the plants to make a positive ebidta, which will then be used for servicing debt, the report added.