Energy Policy: The CEB Makes Respect Commission Manraj

9 years, 3 months ago - May 06, 2013
The National Energy Commission held in the dark about the talks between the CEB and CT Power's 100 MW thermal power plant in Albion

The showdown between the National Energy Commission chaired by Dev Manraj, Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), and the Central Electricity Board (CEB) under the supervision of the Deputy Prime Minister's Office is continuing. The situation of high tension was even more tangible in the deliberations of the Commission Manraj the past week. The CEB has clearly stated that the Board does not abdicate its powers and prerogatives regarding negotiations with the promoters of Mauritius CT Power for thermal coal power plant of 100 MW of Pointe-aux-Caves, Albion. The response of the NEC does not wait with the Commission concerning the untransparent Procurement Procedures adopted by the CEB for the projects. Meanwhile, new players, the French conglomerate Suez EDF, is reported for major investments in the energy sector.

's CEO CEB Shiam Thannoo, informed the President of the NEC that the Board of administration of the first named organization does not agree to the effect that the Commission Manraj must be kept informed of the progress of negotiations and consultations with developers of coal-CT Power. This request was made and presented to the CEB in the early work of the commission.

The only concession granted by the Board of CEB is that NEC will be notified in advance about signing agreements with CT for Power plant startup coal fired. Members of the Commission Manraj have categorically denounced the fait accompli policy practiced by the CEB in its dealings with the commission decision of the Council of Ministers.

In the circumstances, Dev Manraj, president of NEC, expressed hope that the Board of CEB reconsider its decision, which is by no means in the direction of cooperation. He advocated that " better arrangements NEC/CEB need to be established " for better planning of energy policy. To date, the brutal fact remains that the NEC, which emerged following the controversy over the coal-fired power plant will be kept "in the dark" on the same subject by the CEB.

Moreover, NEC opened another front in the war record of CT Power. Requests for additional information on the conditions of the Enviroment Impact Assessment (EIA) license allocated to CT Power were not answered by the Ministry of Environment to the satisfaction of the NEC. The latter institution is the Ministry of Environment was "evasive" in his comments.

In a letter dated April 25, the Deputy Director of Environment, Kallee Ashwin says that " condition No 1 of the EIA licence was imposed by the Environment Appeal Tribunal. This ministry is not responsible for the omissions made by The (Mauritius) CT Power. Our understanding is that the proponent should compare the emission standards as provided by the WHO, the US EP or the EEA and the EPA 2002 and comply with the most stringent of the standard for each parameter "

While in the conclusion of this correspondence, Environment reassuring arguing that " we reiterate our full collobaration to enable the NEC to meet its mandate effectively ", it seems that the current does not pass at this level also. NEC has decided to return to the charge to urge the Environment for collaboration foolproof on the back of CT Power. The NEC does not agree with the fact that the ministry could give free rein to developers to implement standards of environmental protection without any constraint.

Given the positions of the CEB on the draft CT Power, the Commission has developed a Manraj against attack more vigorous and critical against the methods of the CEB for Procurements. A proposal by Italian investors for a farm project of 4 MW photovoltaic put fire to the powder. The NEC is unacceptable extent of Unsollicited Bids with developers directly approaching the CEB, which then gives the green light to these practical projects. The thermal power and photovoltaic CT Power project Sarako to Bamboo, sparking controversy in the National Assembly, are listed in this perspective.

NEC is convinced that the time has come for the CEB to work in a defined and transparent, and not at the whim of Unsollicited Bids framework. The intention is to propose amendments to the law to impose the CEB the need to resort to tendering and Requests for Proposal under the control of the Central Procurement Board. In order to remedy these serious flaws and shortcomings, the NEC has further consultations with the State Law Office and the Public Procurement Office of the Ministry of Finance to eliminate the gray areas and ensure consistency and good governance in the choice of projects the energy field by imposing the requirement of "public tenders and open Requests for Proposals" in CEB.

Chapter projects discussed during consultations NEC, note that a Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) Plant with a capacity of 100 MW, is substantially the same as that of CT Power in Pointe-aux-Caves. The LNG plant, which will require an investment of about Rs 4 billion (EUR 100 million), will be installed in the Fort William and will be operational by next year.

Proponents of this project are none other than the French conglomerate Suez EDF, in partnership with the IBL group. Additional investment of Rs 4 billion (€ 100 million) will be required for the establishment of infrastructure, including the marine terminal facilities and storage facilities Re-Gasification.

EDF Suez representatives who were Mauritius during the week to deepen contacts, made a presentation of the project, which also includes a second option, that of converting diesel generators CEB into LNG Generators. Members of the NEC, who participated in discussions with EDF Suez delegation, consider this last transformation as an opportunity to remember. If during the first three years of operations, the Liquid Natural Gas plant will run on diesel as long as the infrastructure to transport natural gas is completed.

Another French interest group Bolloré, is interested in the industry local energy. Bolloré has indicated its willingness to start a "demonstration project for mass electricity storage" for renewable energy and consistent with the Maurice Ile Durable project. This proposal is no cost to the Mauritian authorities. The Department of Public Utilities will pursue these contacts with the Bolloré group to complete this project may benefit from the support of IRENA in Abu Dhabi and in financial matters. The objective is to lead the CEB to become more involved in the sector of Renewable Energy.

NEC is also in the presence of a study of the French Development Agency (AFD) on the potential for Energy Efficiency in private sector. Savings of around Rs 1 billion per year are possible without forgetting benefits, representing 40-50 MW of Installed Capacity for an amount of Rs 2.8 billion, if the proposed plan is approved. A joint committee with representatives of the Joint Economic Council and the Ministry of Public Utilities has been established on this subject and author of the report and the action plan is expected to Mauritius from 20 May to accelerate the adoption of proposals.

In another vein NEC will start from Tuesday hearings and presentations with each of the 60 parts recorded boasting about twenty minutes for their presentations on energy.


Text by Le Mauricien

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