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Delhi to approach Centre for help

The Delhi government’s plans for a power-surplus summer seem to have hit a roadblock. It is expected to approach the petroleum ministry to find an alternative gas-source for its 1,500 MW power plant in Bawana.

delhi Updated: Mar 10, 2011 23:46 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

The Delhi government’s plans for a power-surplus summer seem to have hit a roadblock. It is expected to approach the petroleum ministry to find an alternative gas-source for its 1,500 MW power plant in Bawana.

The political upheaval in Libya has taken international prices of crude and gas to a new high, making the assured gas supply to this project not viable, atleast for the time being.

“We are going to the petroleum ministry tomorrow to seek gas because the Libyan situation has made matters difficult for the moment,” Delhi power minister Haroon Yusuf said.

Although the plant is not ready yet, the state government had planned to partially run two turbines in “open cycle” for the ensuing summer months and produce around 400 MW.

Turbines in open cycle — usually on a temporary basis — cannot reuse the exhaust heat to produce more power, like they do when run in the “closed cycle” method. The power produced in open cycle is less than the turbines’ actual capacity. While India gets a majority of international gas from Qatar, unrest in Libya -- one of the world’s largest petroleum producers -- has had an impact on the price of the promised gas.

“If we get international gas, the power produced will be costlier than if we use indigenous gas,”said RK Gaur, managing director, Pragati Power Limited.

But Delhi’s distributing companies have expressed reluctance to buy power from Bawana, saying it is too costly. Government officials estimated that the power produced at Bawana in open cycle will be not less than Rs6 per unit, much higher than available to discoms from other power plants.

Delhi is also about to approach the Union Power ministry for 350 MW of unallocated power from the Central quota, given to the Capital ahead of the Games. But Yusuf assured that the summer will be a smooth sail. “There will be no shortfall. We are... securing supply from all sources.”