Power minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Wednesday said that he would make a strong case to the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) for considering power plants at par with fertiliser plants and the priority status for the two sectors should match when it comes to gas allocation.
Scindia also sought a date for the meeting of the high level inter-ministerial panel in this regard.
"I am seeking a date with defence minister AK Antony (who heads the EGoM) for discussing the change in priority of gas allocation," he said to reporters here, adding, "The power ministry is seeking equal priority status for power projects with that of fertiliser units in allocation of gas."
At present, gas-based fertiliser plants get top most priority in allocation of scarce natural gas. They are followed by LPG-extraction units with gas-based power plants placed third in the priority list.
Currently, fertiliser and LPG are the priority sectors and power plants are not getting any gas from Reliance Industries' KG basin gas fields.
In addition, around 9000 MW of gas-fired plants are stranded due to lack of gas and are likely to become non-performing assets.
With RIL stopping gas supplies to power plants after its KG-D6 output hit an all-time low, Scindia is pressing for convening an urgent meeting of the inter-ministerial panel to rework allocations.
KG-D6 output last month fell to 16.46 million standard cubic meters per day, not even sufficient to meet requirement of urea-manufacturing fertiliser plants and LPG plants, and left no gas for power plants that are placed third on the supply priority list.