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Delhi: Power sector reform attracts visit from foreign utilities

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Kenya and Jamaica, which are seeking to reform power sector, travel to Delhi who began privatising the distribution sector in 2002

Earlier this month, utility representatives in both the Kenyan and Jamaican power sector, visited the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) and distribution firms such as Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDPL) as they look to introduce electricity reforms into their respective countries.

The participating companies include the Kenya Energy Regulatory Commission, Kenya Power and Lighting Company, Jamaica Public Service Company Ltd and Jamaica Social Investment Fund.

According to Mint media, in 2002 three Delhi power distribution companies were privatised, which are joint ventures with Delhi Power Co, which owns 49% of each company.

The distribution firms include BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd, BSES Yamuna Power Ltd and TPDPL.

Delhi: perfecting models

A senior DERC official revealed:  “A lot of countries are looking at us to understand how to introduce electricity distribution reforms. This includes the regulatory architecture. Even a team from Nigeria had come sometime back.”

Last year, Delhi’s former power secretary, Shakti Sinha, wrote a piece for Mint, which highlighted the benefits of privatisation:  “Some of the key gains from the privatisation of distribution in the city: aggregate technical and commercial losses have come down from around 55% to 15% at present.

“Load shedding has reduced from 5% to around 0.3%, or from 891 million units in 2000-01 to 43 million in 2012-13.”

Sinha added: “Privatisation has also had a hugely positive impact on Delhi’s public finances, allowing the government to go on a building splurge of elevated roads, flyovers, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities.

“Earlier, the sector was a strain on the government budget, with outflows of Rs.860 crore in 1998-99, Rs.1,136 crore in 1999-2000 and Rs.1,337 crore in 2000-01.”

East looking to Africa

India’s state-owned Power Grid Corp of India Ltd (PGCIL) is already looking at Nigeria and Kenya for opportunities in transmission through public-private partnerships.

According to Mint media, India’s PGCIL is currently involved with training the transmission system engineers of Kenya Electricity Transmission Co. Ltd.

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.