NEPRA and NTDC Locks Horns Over Competitive Trading Market Design

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) and the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) are reportedly at odds with each other regarding the implementation of the Competitive Trading Bilateral Contract Market (CTBCM).

According to sources, the NEPRA wrote to the Managing Director of NTDC, expressing serious displeasure over a letter by the NTDC which had raised major questions about the design of the CTBMC.

The NEPRA maintained that all the aspects were covered in its CTBCM design determinations that it had issued on 5 December 2019 and 12 November 2020. It clarified that the CTBCM design, as approved by the NEPRA itself, is endorsed in the National Electricity Policy. These determinations included specific dates and instructions for the NTDC to restructure and apply for a System Operator license (February 2020), which was expected to be completed by September 2021.

It highlighted that as a key stakeholder and participant in the CTBCM design approval process, the NTDC is expected to act more responsibly rather than attempting to reopen approved matters. The NEPRA also asserted that the NTDC seems intent on amending the CTBCM reforms to retain the status quo and mentioned that the Nepra Act recognizes the key function of the system operator in the electric power market and mandates that it be an independently licensed activity.

Sources mentioned that the NTDC has been a key participant in all the meetings, consultations, brainstorming sessions, and trainings throughout the NEPRA’s approval process of the CTBCM design, thus fully understanding its crucial role in the CTBCM.

Under the CTBCM, the NTDC is required to perform functions such as generation scheduling, unit commitment and dispatch, transmission scheduling and generation outage coordination, transmission congestion management, procurement and scheduling of ancillary services, and system planning for long-term capacity and marginal price discovery.