Nepra cuts rate of return on three nuclear plants

ISLAMABAD: The Natio­nal Electric Power Regula­tory Authority (Nepra) on Wednesday slightly reduced the rate of return on equity (ROE) from 15 to 14.5pc for three old nuclear power plants of 930MW.

This would provide a saving of Rs2.05bn per annum or about 25 paisa per unit for remaining 25-37 year life of these projects, the re­­gulator said in a statement.

The management of three nuclear power plants loca­ted at Chashma (C-2, C-3 and C-4) had filed the tariff petitions under Aug 27, 2020 decisions of the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) for reduction in ROE rate and freezing exchange rate to Rs148 per dollar.

The regulator had conducted the hearing on the tariff petitions on Jan 13. On Wednesday, the regulator said it had approved to freeze the exchange rate at Rs148 per dollar and reduce the ROE from 15pc to 14.5pc for the remaining life of these projects.

Generation licence to Chashma Nuclear Power Plant Unit-2 (C-2) located at Chashma, Tehsil Piplan, District Mianwali was issued in 2011. The rated gross capacity of the plant is 340MW having a minimum of 40 years (extendable for another 20 years). The licences to C-3 and C-4 were issued in 2016. The rated gross capacity of plants is 340MW each with a minimum 40 years (extendable for another 20 years).

Meanwhile, the government has also forwarded the matter related to the revised tariff for the IPPs to regulator for formal approval. The government had signed agreements with 46 IPPs for the revision in their terms of agreements, purportedly providing a saving of Rs770bn. The Nepra will now issue new tariff for these IPPs.

Meanwhile, the government also announced the financial closing of four Solar PV projects, having cumulative capacity of 250MW. Out of 250MW, Zhenfa Pakistan New Energy Company (Pvt) Ltd is developing 100MW project) in district Layyah, Punjab and a Norwegian company Scatec in partnership with Nizam Energy is developing 150MW (3x50MW) projects in district Sukkur, Sindh.

Last week, the Private Power and Infrastructure Board had delivered the GoP Guarantee to projects on behalf of President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. These four solar power projects are bringing investment of $148 million, the Power Division said.

The projects are financed at debt-to-equity ratio of 80:20. Nepra has approved a levelised tariff of 3.73 cents per unit for Zhenfa project and 3.66 cents per unit for Scatec projects.

These projects are expec­ted to generate 494.427 GWh annually. Based on the available solar resource, the regulator has approved 21.51pc capacity factor for Zhenfa and 23.27pc for Scatec projects.

Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan said the renewable energy technologies have matured during the last one decade and Pakistan has also started harnessing the immense potential of alternative and renewable energy resources available in the country.

He said the government has now announced a new policy that sets a target of 20pc renewable energy capacity by 2025 and 30pc by 2030. Overall, the government intends to have a share of more than 60pc coming from clean technologies by 2030, he said.

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