Anil Ambani has cautioned the government that the country’s largest power producer, the state-owned NTPC, would lose up to Rs. 30,000 crore if his elder brother Mukesh Ambani’s firm Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) does not supply gas at the committed rate of $2.34 per unit.
“We firmly believe that NTPC, like RNRL (Anil’s power company) is an innocent victim of RIL’s corporate greed, which is reflected in its attempts to back out of its solemn and legal contractual commitments,” Anil said in a July 31 letter to Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.
Seeking a meeting with Shinde to discuss the matter, Anil said, “Expert opinion and independent financial analysis suggest that NTPC could potentially lose over Rs. 20,000 crore if the gas price is revised from $2.34 per unit to $4.2.”
The loss, he said, could “touch Rs. 30,000 crore based on the cost of alternate fuels. Beyond this, the biggest impact would be that these NTPC plants may never come up.” This, he said, would affect the power capacity addition of the country.
“I am currently in Pune and have not seen the letter,” Shinde told Hindustan Times. “I can only comment on it on Monday once I reach office.” Power Secretary HS Brahma said he was not aware of the letter.
“NTPC is already in the Bombay High Court to protect its rights on gas,” said NTPC Chairman RS Sharma. Refusing to comment of Anil Ambani’s letter, he said, “We are watching the ongoing developments closely. The matter is sub-judice and I do not want to say much on this issue.”
Anil’s letter further said that his group company RNRL was in no way against the interests of NTPC. “We would be delighted if NTPC, a navratna, gets its rightful share of gas for 17 years at a price of $2.34, which was discovered through open transparent international competitive bidding in 2004.”