The government has given NTPC Ltd an ultimatum to decide on buying natural gas from Reliance Industries by the weekend, failing which it (government) will cancel its allocation and give the fuel to other power producers.
The Oil Ministry has conveyed to NTPC Chairman RS Sharma that the state-run firm has to decide this week on taking 2.67 million cubic metres of gas a day that was allocated to it from RIL's Bay of Bengal KG-D6 fields, a senior official said.
"There is a long waiting list. Many plants need the fuel and NTPC cannot be sitting on the allocation," he said.
Before the stern message to Sharma, the ministry had on May 12 written to the Power Ministry saying NTPC was not signing the gas purchase contract even though the state-run firm was the one that had vehemently fought to get the allocation.
NTPC, he said, was delaying signing the Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement because it has sought legal opinion if such an act would compromise its court gas against RIL.
Of the 17.99 mmcmd gas allocated to the power sector, a gas supply pact of only 2.67 mmcmd allocated to NTPC remained to be signed. NTPC's opposition had also delayed the GSPA for a separate 2.7 mmcmd allocated to the Dabhol power plant and the same is now slated to be signed this week.