Power-ridden Maharashtra will get some reprieve from Friday morning when the Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private Company Limited (RGPPL) starts supplying 740 MW to the state distribution network.
The plant, formerly known as Dabhol Power Company, was revived last May to meet the shortage in Maharashtra but was shut down early July for want of fuel.
"With RGPPL supply we'll get relief in the sense that unscheduled interruptions will be reduced. But there will be no change in load shedding hours," said the MSEDCL official spokesperson.
Presently, the state facing a shortfall of between 3500-4200 MW, has been enforcing load shedding of 4 to 12 hours in urban and rural areas.
The 740 MW Block-II of RGPPL is now being run on imported naptha, as the company doesn't have tie-up for supply of natural gas. With naptha, the cost of generation will be more than Rs 5 per unit.
"We'll start generation of 740 MW from Friday morning," RGPPL Chairman and Managing Director Chandan Roy told the Hindustan Times. "We started generating 150-175MW since Wednesday," said Roy, adding that the full-capacity production would start by Friday morning.
"We'll run the plant on naptha till coming March as we expect LNG to arrive early next year," said Roy.
The sole buyers Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) will buy power at the rate of Rs 5.1 per unit.
Meanwhile, Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said in New Delhi that provisions were being made to replace naphtha with liquid natural gas (LNG) as a fuel. He also dismissed rumours of RGPPL would be sold to a private party.
"The project is generating about 150 MW which will be scaled up gradually."
The plant earlier known as Dabhol is being run on the more costly Naphtha fuel as a stop-gap arrangement till the cheaper tranche of LNG, the original fuel's shipments are expected by the end of the year from Qatar.