Gas-based power projects in the State, both present and future, appear to be in for big trouble.

A further shortage of natural gas is likely in the country if the recent circular issued by the Union Energy Ministry about the likely drop in natural gas output in the Krishna-Godavari basin is any indication.

The circular said the output from the Krishna-Godavari basin where Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has reserves, will plummet from 42.67 (million metric standard cubic metres per day) to about 27 mmscmd in 2012-13. There will be a further fall of 3.42 mmscmd in the availability of gas during 2013-14, according to the projections made by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.

In the circular addressed to the Central Electricity Authority, the Energy Ministry has advised it to tighten the approvals to set up new gas-based projects in the country or expand the existing ones, which were dependent on domestic gas supplies. This approach would ensure that only a limited number of gas-based projects would come up for the time being.

The reduced availability of gas, it is feared, will have an adverse impact on gas-based projects in Andhra Pradesh which cumulatively account for an installed capacity of 2,770 MW of which 1,300 MW capacity is lying idle for want of gas.

Once the gas supplies go down, their actual output will dwindle from the present 1500 MW to 1,000 MW in another two years.