The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (Aptel) has rejected Adani Power’s application seeking to condone the “481 days” delay in filing a plea against power regulator CERC’s ruling of April 2013 with regard to tariff issues at its Mundra project. The main case about giving compensatory tariffs, however, continues in Aptel.
After the Indonesian government changed its rules on exporting coal by imposing a minimum export price in September 2010, Adani Power and Tata Power approached the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) asking for relief on grounds of ‘force majeure’ and ‘change of law’.
CERC, however, rejected both last year, arguing that changes in Indonesian law cannot be considered ‘force majeure’. It, however, ordered compensatory tariffs based on Section 61 and 79 of the Electricity Act. While Section 79 gives CERC the power to regulate, Section 61 says CERC has to safeguard consumer interest while ensuring‘recovery of the cost of electricity in a reasonable manner’.
The compensatory tariff, determined by a committee led by Deepak Parekh. took into account the extra money earned by the companies from their mines in Indonesia as a result of the higher coal export price. The discoms in Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat, however, challenged the CERC ruling at Aptel which, while asking for current charges to be paid based on the new CERC formula, said it would take a call on past dues. Haryana challenged this in the Supreme Court which remanded the matter back to Aptel with instructions to hear the case afresh.