Infrastructure –power: Cure becomes the illness; long-term PPAs now a noose

Oft suggested during SEZ policy crafting days, NITI now formalises the idea of 2 mega Coastal Economic Zones to emulate China’s strategy.
CEZs on the cards
The mega Coastal Economic Zones would be set up under the Sagarmala project with international infrastructure. A CEZ may be up to 200 to 250 km wide from the coastline, approximately equal distance in length and encompassing a modern deep dredge port. Minimal red tape, relatively flexible labour and land acquisition laws would be planned for.
All states were to notify Real Estate Reg Act latest by 30th April 2017. Only 13 states hv notified & they r now struggling to implement.
Challenges ahead For RERA
States were asked to notify rules as per the Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA) provisions so that it could be effectively implemented. Many states have either diluted or given insufficient emphasis to crucial aspects of the Act, according to a CRISIL Research report.
Continuing contraction in cement output bit baffling & somewhat worrying: Jan 2017 was -13.3%, Feb -15.8% & March -5.9%. Explanations ?
Sluggish demand for cement
Despite some improvement over the previous month, cement output contraction in March indicates that the construction sector is yet to recover from the disruption caused by the demonetisation drive.
Stepup in railway capex (at `1.12 lac crs in FY17 vis a vis `0.5 lac crs in FY13) happily showing up in order books of relevant pvt cos.
On the right track
Companies engaged in projects related to railway electrification, network decongestion and track building are all reporting increases in their order books.
Cure becomes the illness: Long term PPAs, designed in yesteryears to assure states of continuous supply of affordable power, now a noose.
PPAs: Not so attractive anymore
With spot rates getting increasingly cheaper than longer term PPA (power purchase agreement) rates, discoms are being severely tempted to renege on PPA contracts. However, the power ministry has stated that power procurers cannot terminate PPA agreements except through previously agreed terms and conditions.
Satellite Ports ~ the new thinking on expanding capacity of govt-owned major ports; addresses urban congestion, draft + uses synergies.
New satellite ports on the anvil
With some of the major government run ports choked for capacity, ports in Chennai, Paradip and the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai are developing satellite ports as part of their expansion plans. Satellite ports can deal with issues such as limited land availability and draft adequacy.
MahaGovt doing what Central Govt been advised for a long time. Under MAHAINFRA – unused state govt land pooled to securitise & raise funds.
Land Bank Corporations: All State Govts should do what Maharashtra has done. Pool unused sarkari land in SPV & leverage for fund raising.
Maharashtra shows the way
MahaInfra, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) will act as a single window for aggregating land held by various state government departments. The SPV has plans of raising `1 trillion in the next five years to finance capital expenditure of key infrastructure projects.

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