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National Rail Power Corporation for Rail Transport

By on August 31, 2013
With the expansion of electrified network of Indian Railways to around 34000 Km within next five years, expansion  of Metropolitan Rail Transport Project in major metro cities and Commissioning of Dedicated freight corridor on Electric Traction, the total need of Electric Power for Rail Based Transport system will go up to 20000 MW . For such a huge demand of captive  power, it will be in the overall interest of the rail based transport sector to go for its captive power generation instead depending on state utilities. There is no doubt that Railways and other rail based corporation will be at the mercy of State Utilities and Railways will only be milking cow for them. There will be downward  pressure on domestic and agriculture consumer which will certainly result in upward pressure on Railway tariff.
It will be in the overall interest of Rail base Transport and proving its sustainability and economic viability to form a company such as National Rail Transport Power Corporation (NRTPC) to generate, transmit and consume power exclusively for Rail based Transport.
Advantages are
  •  Tariff linked to cost of production instead at the mercy of State Utilities, thus transferring the benefit of reasonable tariff to the passenger and proving sustainability and economic viability of rail transport.
  • Improved load factor – DFCIL and Metropolitan Cities will certainly be in the nearby vicinity of the Indian Railways network and Grid Substation can certainly be located without requiring any more cost for the transmission line. Connecting variety of loads of rail transport will help in improving load factor.
  • Handling issues related to the quality of power  more effectively.
  • Reliability of power supply
  • Trading of surplus power and earning extra revenue
  • Full benefit of regeneration
  • The tariff from one State to another varies by around 35%.  It is becoming difficult to negotiate and plead for competitive tariff and reducing disparity between different consumers.
  • At load factor of 30% and maximum demand of 20,000MW, per day consumption will be around ( 20000*1000*0.3*24) = 14.4 Crs  or 144 Million units of energy. It amounts to 5256 Cr units or 52.56  Billion units of energy. Even with this much of captive consumption and T&D losses of around 5%, there is almost no say of Railways  to bargain and negotiate  for a cost  base tariff.

Is it not the right time for Railways to join hands with equal partners to generate, transmit and distribute captive power for the rail bus transport system?

So far Indian Railways are having plans  to generate  1000 MW each at Nabinagar and 2x660MW at Adra in joint venture with NTPC. There is a plan to set up 1400 MW joint venture with the Nuclear power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). Railways are presently finding  difficulty how to make arrangements of evacuation of power supply from captive power plants to transmit to its network spread all over India. This will involve wheeling agreements  with large many  SEBs of which few may be troublesome.  By combining resources of DFC and Metro projects, Railway owned transmission network in joint venture with PGCIL will be technically and financially viable, therefore, in the overall interest of Rail Base transport system, Indian Railways shall embark upon the  big mission of NRTPC for generation and  transmission of power. 

News column on the subject

Railways, NTPC join to set up 1,000 MW power plant.

November 8, 2007 | TNN
NEW DELHI: Indian railways have signed an agreement with the country’s largest power generator NTPC to set up a 1,000MW power plant in Nabinagar, Bihar, with a total investment of around Rs 4,000 crore. The project will be implemented by a joint venture company ? Bharatiya Rail Bijlee Company. NTPC will hold 74% stake in the company with railways holding the rest. The plant is expected to commence operations after 30 months from receipt of approval of investment by both parties, which is likely to come in by December.

Rlys to dump errant SEBs, floats JV with NTPC for power needs

July 14, 2003 | Shalini Singh , TNN
NEW DELHI: India’s troubled state electricity boards (SEBs) will soon lose Rs 6,300 crore in revenues and one of their biggest customers: the railways. Fed up with high SEB charges and defaults on freight dues, Indian Railways (IR) will source most of its power from the newly-christened Rail Bijlee Company (RBCL), a JV with NTPC to generate 1,000 mega-watts (MW). This is expected to save IR Rs 2,000 crore-2,500 crore every year. SEBs charge an average rate of Rs 4.50 per unit for the roughly 8365.

Work on Adra power plant may start soon

TNN Apr 3, 2013, 02.05AM IST
KoLKATA: If things go according to pllans, work on the 2×660 MW thermal power plant in Puulia’s Adra is likely to start soon. The Rs. 7700 Cr project will be a joint venture between NTPC and Bharatiya Rail Bijlee Company Ltd (BRBCL)

 Electricity rates in Maharashtra to go up for Railways

In a move that could put paid to Central Railway’s (CR) efforts to save electricity, the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd (MAHADISCOM) has conveyed to the railways that it wants to hike the power charges for the transporter from Rs7.98 to Rs9.60 per unit.

The move would bring about a burden of Rs300 crore in CR’s power bills leaving the transporter, already among the laggards in a bleeding railway system, without enough money for various electrical works in the suburban system. The issue has now reached the highest levels of the state government and the railways with the railway ministry’s member (Electrical) Kul Bhushan and state chief secretary JK Banthia meeting to thrash out differences. The meeting was…


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  1. k.chiwara says:

    Helpful solutions are being addressed based on necessary demands…thanx