Indian State Power Giant Revives Threat to Cut Delhi Supplies

  • NTPC may halt supplies from May 10 over non-payment of dues
  • Similar threat in 2014 was blocked by country's Supreme Court

NTPC Ltd., India’s biggest power generator, has threatened to cut supplies to New Delhi equivalent to about half of the national capital’s demand over payments owed by two of the city’s electricity retailers.

State-owned NTPC may halt all of the 2,027 megawatts of power it supplies to BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd. and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd. from May 10, it said in separate notices posted on its website. 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 million) to NTPC.

“BSES is under huge financial distress” and unable to recover its costs through tariff increases, it said in an e-mailed statement. Its two utilities are “making concerted efforts to clear pending dues in a just and equitable manner.”

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 supplies.

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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