Weekly Power Sector Round up: 2nd May 2020

Coronavirus crisis: Lockdown to surge DISCOM losses, yearly demand expected to fall for the first time in decades

The lockdown enforced in light of the coronavirus pandemic has dropped demand sharply enough such that the demand for 2020-21 is set to report a 1% YOY decline. This is the first time power demand has dropped in 36 years.

The lockdown is also expected to continue beyond the 3rd of May and this estimate may drop further depending on how the situation unfolds in the near future.

DISCOMs are expected to be hit hard with losses piling up because of this drop in demand. Industrial consumers account for the bulk of DISCOM’s earnings and non essential industries, especially in metro regions, have been shut throughout the lockdown.

ADB sanctions $346mn loan for Maharashtra’s HVDS program

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it has sanctioned a USD 346mn (INR 2,616 crore) loan to the Indian Govt to provide reliable power to rural Maharashtra. About half of Maharashtra’s labour force is engaged in agriculture and related activities.

The loan will finance Maharashtra’s high voltage distribution system (HVDS) for new grid connected rural agricultural customers.

The loan will be financed under a results based lending program (RBL) where disbursements are linked to results achieved under the program rather than to finance upfront expenditures.