Special Report

Getting grip on financial stability of discoms

Rajiv Menon, Managing Director, Black & Veatch India.

A long way to achieve ‘Power for All’
The health of the power sector is improving, but there is still a way to go before we achieve the government’s goal of a 24/7 power supply for all, believes Rajiv Menon, Managing Director, Black & Veatch India. Ratings agency Fitch recently reported the possibility that India may produce a power surplus within the current fiscal year. Late last year another rating agency, Moody’s upgraded the outlook for India’s power sector from negative to stable. It remains the case, however, Menon adds that sporadic outages continue to be a problem and circa 24 per cent of households are yet to be electrified.

UDAY to improve financial stability
Noting one particular initiative that will change the game in 2017, Menon says, “A significant factor in Moody’s upgraded outlook was optimism about the ability of UDAY to improve the financial stability and operational performance of state discoms. Getting to grips with distribution challenges is central to ensuring the power sector can meet consumers’ needs. To this end UDAY is among the initiatives with greatest potential to bring change.”

He adds, “UDAY is a very welcome initiative. The drive for renewable is bearing fruit. June saw a record level of power, 10.2 billion units, generated from renewable sources; 26 per cent more than the same period last year. Allowing the swapping of coal supplies among central and state-owned power plants has helped optimise transportation costs and related losses with increased generation.”

Black & Veatch’s performance and strategies
Black & Veatch India is continuing to grow its business in India across the power, oil and gas, and water sectors.

“India has announced stringent environment norms and this year we have supported IPP’s and Genco’s on consultancy services for this AQC program. We also continued to support the growth of natural gas in India’s energy mix through winning the EPC contract for India’s first floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal, for Swan LNG at Jafrabad. As the business continues to grow, it was a welcome development to move all of our Mumbai professionals into a single building, in Vikhroli,” Menon informs.

Delivers world-class solutions with Indian talent
Briefing on the company’s innovative strategies to remain competitive Menon says, “We are able to deliver world-class solutions, with Indian talent, for virtually every form of power generation. This means that, as India diversifies its generation mix, we can support virtually every sector.”

Black & Veatch India is also able to support developments in baseload thermal generation, with a second-to-none, portfolio of air quality control experience, for instance. “The drive to electrify rural communities, and the greater adoption of renewable and distributed generation, play directly to our globally recognised microgrid expertise,” asserts Menon.

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