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NTPC plants idle on gas shortage

business Updated: Jan 01, 2008 23:26 IST
Deepak Joshi & Samiran Saha

State-owned power generation enterprise NTPC Ltd has sought 7 million metric standard cubic metres per day (MMSCMD) of Panna-Mukta-Tapti (PMT) gas to meet the shortages faced by its plants. The non-availability is resulting in a shortfall of nearly 900 MW of power.

"Allocation of 7 MMSCMD gas to NTPC for its gas stations from the PMT joint venture would be in the larger public interest as it will enable to minimise idling national assets," NTPC Chairman and Managing Director T Sankaralingam has stated in a letter to Power Secretary Anil Razdan.

Power plants have been affected along the Hazira-Bijaypur-Jagdishpur pipeline like Kawas (645 MW) and Gandhar (648 MW) in Gujarat, Auraiya (652 MW) in Uttar Pradesh and Anta (413 MW) in Rajasthan. Of NTPC's seven-gas based power plants four are generating significantly less power. NTPC gas-based plants have a capacity of nearly 4,000 MW.

The problem has been aggravated by the reluctance of Petronet LNG and other gas marketing companies to make spot purchases of regassified liquefied natural gas at $14 per million British thermal units (mBtu).

He has pointed out that the government has decided to make the entire 16 MMSCMD gas available to public sector gas utility GAIL (India) at production sharing contract terms. The joint venture partners are expected to make 3.4 MMSCMD gas available to GAIL with "immediate effect". The PMT joint venture involves Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (40 per cent stake), Reliance Industries Ltd (30 per cent stake) and BG (30 per cent stake).

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