Seeking to boost output from power plants which are either lying idle or functioning at lower capacity due to lack of gas, the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will meet on Tuesday to allocate bulk of the additional natural gas from Reliance Industries Limited’s (RIL) KG-D6 fields to such power plants.
The EGoM will consider fixing users for about 50 million cubic metres a day of KG-D6 gas, officials in the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry said. This is in addition to the initial 40 mscmd output that was previously distributed primarily to urea and power plants. The power sector is likely to get more than two-thirds of the additional gas to boost electricity generation.
What has raised eyebrows is the decision to include allocation for non-priority sectors such as refineries, including those of RIL, which could get 11 mscmd of natural gas. RIL’s petrochemical plants have been proposed to be given 1.918 mscmd.
Of the 50 mscmd, 20 mscmd would be allocated on a firm basis while the balance on temporary or fallback basis till such time RIL produced 90 mscmd of gas on a sustained basis.