The Enron Saga

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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG001
Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 1992 - 2001
Pub. Date : 2001
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Enron, Dabhol Power, MSEB, Government of Maharashtra (GoM)
Industry : Power
Countries : India

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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The Power Sector

In India the power sector was dominated by Central and State government owned organizations. In most of the cases, any State Electricity Board (SEB) was the sole generator, transmittor and distributor of power. Power was generated by Central Utilities such as NTPC, NHPC, Nuclear Power Corporation, Damodar Valley Corporation and NEEPCO; State Electricity Boards which were state-owned utilities; licensees such as BSES and CESC and Independent Power Projects (IPPs).

Transmission and distribution was mostly in the hand of SEBs with the sole exception of Orissa where power distribution was in the hands of the private sector. In 2000, India's power generation capacity stood at around 96600MW (Approx. 478 billion units).3 The major portion of the capacity was set up by SEBs (58%). This was followed by centrally controlled plants which contributed 34%. IPPs started contributing to installed capacity only as recently as 1996.

Central Utilities dominated the Indian power generation sector. Even after the new power policy of 1991came into effect, their share in power generated, as well as new capacity added, did not diminish significantly.

This was largely due to the failure of IPPs to take off. Central Utilities included Powergrid Corporation of India, Power Finance Corporation of India, Rural Electrification Corporation and Power Trading Corporation of India.

To meet the growing shortage of power, the government encouraged private (including foreign) participation in the power sector. The new power policy permitted 100 per cent foreign owned companies to set up power projects of any capacity and type (coal, gas, hydel, wind or solar). An Independent Power Producer (IPP), after getting government approvals for its specified plant size, could generate power and sell it to the respective SEBs under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

Licensees were predominantly private companies that generated and distributed electricity to urban areas...

Excerpts >>

3] Unit: one Kilowatt Hour (KwH).


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