Torrent Power Back on Track For Discom License In D & N Haveli, Daman & Diu

Highlights :

  • The privatisation process had been stayed by the Bombay HC, following a public interest plea.
  • For Torrent Power, which is already a key discom in neighbouring Gujarat, getting these licenses makes eminent sense.

Torrent Power NSE has revealed that the Supreme Court has stayed a Bombay High Court order that imposed suspension on the tender process for the power distribution business in Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu.

The company was found to be the highest bidder in the tender for a 51% equity stake in the power discoms for the union territories of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu.

Utilities company Torrent Power is one of the largest private sector power company having interests in power generation, transmission, distribution and manufacturing and supply of power cables. It has an aggregate generating capacity of 3879 MW, with a mix of coal based, gas based, and renewable power plants.

The company has a strong presence in the Gujarat power distribution scene and supplies electricity to lakhs of customers annually in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Surat, Dahej SEZ and Dholera SIR in Gujarat. In 1997, Torrent Power fully acquired the Ahmedabad Electricity Company by purchasing the entire 28.89% stake held by the Gujarat government. The Surat Electricity Company was also bought in the same deal. Torrent Power’s dominance among Gujarat discoms well explains its desire to expand and retain control in the neighbouring areas of Dara & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu.

Last year, the central government came up with a proposal to privatize DISCOMs in the union territories, the latter being under the union government’s administration. The UTs include Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Ladakh, and Puducherry.

In December last year, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu had invited bids to acquire a 51% stake in its DISCOM, responsible for the distribution and retail supply of electricity. In March this year, an auction was held, in which Torrent Power emerged as the highest bidder to acquire the DISCOM in the union territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

Under the arrangement, Torrent Power would distribute nearly 25 BU of power to over 3.8 million customers and attend to a peak demand of over 5,000 MW.

On March 4, 2021, the Bombay High Court suspended the tender process in a public interest litigation case, filed against the privatization of the DISCOM, until further orders in the matter.

“Supreme Court of India has, inter alia, granted stay of the operation of the aforesaid impugned interim order of Bombay Hight Court suspending tender process of the above referred bid and to list the matter for hearing before Supreme Court of India,” Torrent Power has now said.

In January this year, Tata Power took over the Western Electricity Supply Company of Odisha and Southern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha.

The big prize among discoms, namely the BSES networks in Delhi, were also in play last year until the Delhi High court put a stop in the process to protect the interests of one of the creditors of Reliance Infrastructure, which owns BSES.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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