The Indian Railways, which is working
towards its "Mission 41k" plan to reduce its energy bill by Rs 41,000
crore over the next decade, announced it has succeeded in achieving a cumulative
saving of Rs 5,636 crore in two years between April 2015 and October 2017.
The national transporter has credited the savings to “Business As Usual” (BAU)
mode by procuring power directly under open
access arrangements. “This cumulative figure is likely to further go up to Rs
6,927 crore by the end of the current financial year in March, 2018 which is
around Rs 1,000 more than the stipulated target,” the rail ministry said.
This comes on the backdrop of the nod given by the Central Electricity
Regulatory Commission (CERC) in 2015 to Indian Railways granting it the status
of deemed distribution licencee under the Electricity Act, 2003 bringing
railways on a par with discoms.
CERC had issued directions to state transmission utilities and state load
dispatch centres to facilitate open access to railways on existing transmission
network as deemed licensee.
“In line with this, Indian Railways approached CERC for issue of necessary
guidelines to all State Transmission Utilities (STUs) and State Load Dispatch
Centers (SLDCs) to facilitate open access to Indian Railways on existing
transmission network as deemed licensee,” the ministry said.
The railways expected savings of Rs 3,000 crore accruing as a result of the
2015 CERC order. The transporter contracted about 500 megawatt (MW) power from
Ratnagiri Gas and Power Pvt. Ltd (RGPPL) in 2015 for consuming it in the states
of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand at Rs 4.70 per unit. The
flow of power in all the four States was completed by January 2016.
Railway Energy Management Co. Ltd, an arm of Indian Railways, contracted 50 MW
power through open tender at Rs 3.69 per unit in its central transmission
utility-connected network from Dadri to Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh in December
“Further, in the current year, flow of power started in the state of Rajasthan
from January 1, 2017, in Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) area from August 17
and in the states of Haryana and Karnataka from Oct 17,” the ministry said.
Electric traction power is presently being sourced through the open access
route in seven states -- Maharashtra, Gujarat, M.P, Jharkhand, Rajasthan,
Haryana and Karnataka -- and DVC area.
ETEnergyworld was the first to report that Haryana, Punjab and Karanataka had
joined other states in granting approval to Indian Railways for procurement of
“States of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Telangana have
also agreed to permit Railway for flow of power though Open access route which
is likely to start by next year. The talks of Indian Railways with remaining
states are going on for procuring power through open access route,” the
ETEnergyworld had also reported that the national carrier had planned to set up
additional 8,500 km of transmission lines to end dependence on state discoms.)
As on date, of the total requirement of about 2,000 MW of electric traction
power, more than 1,000 MW is flowing under open access. This has reduced the
average cost of power in these states (where power is flowing under open
access) to about Rs 5.00 from earlier cost of more than Rs 7.00 per unit, the
“This will further reduce the diesel bill and multiply the savings in energy
bill, taking it to about Rs 10,500 crore per annum in the next few years,” the
ministry added. The national carrier consumes 18 billion units of electricity
and spends around Rs 10,000 crore on its electricity bill annually. It had
spent Rs 9,200 crore in the previous financial year.