Delhi Regulator Orders NTPC to Hold Off on Cutting Power Supply

  • Regulator seeks resolution; to meet NTPC, retailers on May 16
  • Delhi Transco warns of grid collapse if supply is cut

New Delhi’s electricity regulator directed state-run utility NTPC Ltd. to refrain from cutting supplies to two city power retailers over unpaid dues after the generator threatened to halt sales to India’s capital.

In a meeting today, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission asked NTPC and the two distributors -- BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd. and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd. -- to try and reach a resolution before another meeting on May 16, B.P. Singh, a commission member, said by phone.

NTPC threatened to halt all of the 2,027 megawatts of power it supplies to the two retailers from May 10. The retailers, both joint ventures between billionaire Anil Ambani’s Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. and the city’s local government, have combined outstanding payments of 12.95 billion rupees ($194.6 million) to NTPC.

Curtailing power supplies may destabilize the grid, the city’s transmission company, Delhi Transco Ltd., said in a letter to NTPC.

A threat to cut off power two years ago over a similar dispute with the retailers was defused after nation’s Supreme Court ordered NTPC not to disconnect supply.

The Indian capital had a peak electricity demand of 3,618 megawatts in the month of March, according to the federal power ministry’s Central Electricity Authority. Consumption usually goes up during summer months.

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