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Government to step into Dabhol power plants management

business Updated: Aug 31, 2010 17:03 IST

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The government is likely to appoint two of its officials on the board of Ratnagiri Gas and Power Ltd, the firm that run the nation's largest gas-fired power plant, Dabhol.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Power Ministry are likely to nominate a bureaucrat each to the RGPPL board, an official said.

"At a recent review meeting, Oil Secretary S Sundareshan suggested that since majority of equity in RGPPL is being held by PSUs, there was an urgent need to appoint government nominees on the company board. It was decided to appoint one nominee each from the MoPNG and Power Ministry on RGPPL's board."

The move is akin to government appointing its officials on public sector companies where it holds majority stake. Originally set by up now bankrupt Enron Corp of the US, the 1,940 MW Dabhol power plant was taken over by RGPPL in 2005. State-owned power generator NTPC Ltd and gas utility GAIL India hold 29.65 per cent stake each in RGPPL while Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) has 15.71 per cent.

The remaining equity is with financial institutions - IDBI (9.4 per cent), State Bank of India (7.65 per cent), ICICI Bank (6.30 per cent) and Canara Bank (1.65 per cent). The official said GAIL and NTPC have two directors each on the board of RGPPL, which has a permanent Managing Director and a Deputy Managing Director. MSEB, Maharashtra government,
IDBI and ICICI Bank have one director each. The Chairmanship is rotated among GAIL and NTPC by turns.

NTPC and GAIL have both contributed Rs 592.90 crore equity to RGPPL while MSEB Holding Co Ltd has given Rs 314.20 crore as its contribution towards share capital. Financial
institutions' equity exposure is Rs 500 crore. RGPPL has its plant located at village Anjanwel in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, nearly 330 km from Mumbai. The picturesque project site is spread in almost 1700 acres of hilly coastal terrain.

The project comprises of one block of 640 megawatt and two blocks of 650 MW electricity generating capacity each. Besides, it also has an adjacent 5 million tons per annum
capacity liquefied natural gas (LNG) import and regassification terminal.

While the power plant is operation, RGPPL expects to start operating the LNG terminal by December 2010, the official said. "RGPPL is planning to import one cargo (shipload) of LNG to commission in the LNG plant," he said. The LNG import facility is now mechanically complete" and the contractors are expected to commission the plant that will turn LNG to its natural state in next 90 days.

LNG is natural gas liquefied at sub-zero temperature and shipped.