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Give gas for old units, says ADAG

With the government yet to consider gas allocations for new power projects, the Anil Ambani group seems to have changed its strategy. It is now seeking gas for the expansion of its existing gas based power projects instead. Anupama Airy reports. A many-splendoured plan for power

business Updated: Aug 05, 2010 23:21 IST
Anupama Airy

With the government yet to consider gas allocations for new power projects, the Anil Ambani group seems to have changed its strategy. It is now seeking gas for the expansion of its existing gas based power projects instead.

The first such proposal entailing an investment of Rs 10,000 crore has been submitted by Anil Ambani's Reliance Power Ltd to the government to expand the capacity of its existing 220 megawatt gas-based power project at Samalkot in Andhra Pradesh to 2,400 mw.

"The power ministry has recommended an allocation of 8 million standard cubic metres of gas per day (mmscmd) for this project at the July 28 meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM)," said a petroleum ministry official.

Asked about the status, he said, "Wait for the minutes of the EGoM meeting to come."

A source close to the company said, "Requests for similar gas allocations may also be sought by the company for expanding its existing gas-based power projects at Kochi (165 mw) and Goa (48 mw)."

The company's spokesperson refused to comment but confirmed seeking gas supplies for expansion of Samalkot.

Gas allocations for Samalkot have been sought by Reliance Power out of its share of gas of 28 million standard cubic metres per day agreed to for the company's gas based power projects following the Supreme Court order in the Ambani's gas dispute case.

"We (Reliance Power) request you to immediately allocate 8 mmscmd of natural gas for our Samalkot project from our request of 28 mmscmd," Reliance Power said in a July 20-dated letter to power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.

Reliance Power also said that all clearances and approvals for the expansion of Samalkot were in place and it was ready to commence construction. It also said that if gas is "allocated quickly" time, the project can be completed in less than two years --by March 2012. "Considering the capacity addition challenges of 11th (five-year) plan, based on advance preparatory work, and the delivery schedules agreed with the global equipment manufacturers, we are confident that we can achieve plant completion by March 2012," Reliance Power told Shinde.