Raising an alert, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) told the power ministry that the state-owned NTPC Ltd should not make comments on matters sub-judice lest they are construed as attempt to influence the outcome of its court case seeking natural gas at price committed in 2004.
“(NTPC’s) statement (in filings on stock exchanges) purports to state that a contract came into existence between NTPC and RIL even before the court has heard the arguments and pronounced judgement,” a September 15 letter by RIL president (gas) RP Sharma to Power Secretary HS Brahma stated.
NTPC’s 2004 tender seeking supply of 12 million standard cubic metres of gas per day (mmscmd) for expansion of its Kawas and Gandhar power plant, had clearly stated that the issue of Letter of Intent to the lowest bidder was to be followed by signing of agreement within stipulated period for the contract to come in place. RIL bid the lowest $2.34 (Rs 113) per unit.
Reliance Industries rubbished NTPC claims of savings to consumers on difference between the 2004 bid price and the government approved rates of $4.20 (Rs 203) per unit saying the $2.34 per unit gas price was for expansion projects at Kawas and Gandhar which do not exist today and the other rate was for existing plants.