The central government is open to privatising the 1967-MW Dabhol power plant in Ratnagiri to pull it out of the gigantic losses it is facing, union power minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday.
“Dabhol is a huge liability we have inherited. We are open to various options, including privatisation of the plant, if that will be in the interest of people. All the ideas should be brought to the table and discussed,” said Goyal.
A meeting will be scheduled within the next 10 days to sort out the financial issues and prevent the plant from becoming a non-performing asset (NPA), Goyal said.
The plant, which has been shut for over a year because of unavailability of gas, has led to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MahaVitaran) accumulating arrears of Rs 2,000 crore.
When the project took off, the central government had promised to provide 8.5 million metric standard cubic meter per day of gas supply, but it reduced and eventually stopped.
“We are working out a series of measures so gas can be supplied not only to Dabhol, but other plants too,” said Goyal.
Tnhe union power minster said a proposed investment of $250 billion will drive the Centre’s promise of round-the-clock power supply across the country in the next five years. “We have enough funds. What we did not have was investors’ confidence, which has been renewed because of the Modi led government.”
What Goyal said Modi govt has achieved:
* 15.8% increase in the thermal energy generation
* Rs 1.1 lakh crore central grant for 24X7 affordable power
* By 2020 coal production to be doubled to 100 crore tons
* 1 lakh MW solar and 60,000MW energy production by 2022
* Rs 10 lakh crore investments in renewable energy
* Rs 7 lakh crore to states from coal auctions