The Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission has allowed 20 per cent rebate on total energy charge to the oxygen manufacturing plants for their continued contribution by supplying oxygen during Covid-induced crisis phase, officials said on Monday.
The rebate has been provided even as Assam Power Generation Company Limited (APGCL) suffered a revenue loss of Rs 780 crore during the 2020-21 fiscal due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
APGCL officials said the pandemic had adversely affected the economy as a whole during FY 2020-21 and onwards.
Though the impact of Covid-19 is minimal in case of electricity generation and transmission, there was a significant impact on the distribution sector of the Assam Power Distribution Company (APDCL).
They said that the overall sales were lower by 357 million units (MU) during FY 2020-21, significantly impacting the revenue of APDCL, declining the revenue by Rs 780 crore.
Lower sales to the consumers resulted in selling surplus power at a lower rate. During FY 2020-21, APDCL sold surplus power of 1,328 MU at a loss of Rs 1.44 per unit resulting in total revenue loss of Rs 191 crore.
An official statement said that the APDCL has reported higher distribution loss of 18.55 per cent as compared to 15.5 per cent approved by the Commission.
The higher distribution losses have resulted in higher power purchase cost of Rs 158 crore, of which only a part, Rs 53 crore is passed on to the consumers, it said.
Abhijit Barooah, Managing Director, Premier Cryogenics Limited, said that during the second wave of pandemic, the demand of oxygen increased manifold.
“The rebate will bring investment in this sector and assist the existing units in sustaining,” he told the media.
Assam had an installed production capacity of 61 MT of oxygen daily along with ample storage capacity.In addition, the state government has installed 10 oxygen separators in the medical colleges and hospitals.
Assam was supplying 15 metric tonnes of oxygen to several northeastern states.
Moreover, Assam used to receive 160 MT of oxygen every week through Oxygen Express, initiated by the Central government during the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.