Gujarat, Maharashtra rule out ‘gas swap’ proposed by CEA

Efforts by Andhra Pradesh to get share of the natural gas allotted to Gujarat and Maharashtra from K-G Basin for revival gas-based power plants, has ended in a failure as the two States are unwilling to participate in “gas swap” proposed by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

Some States of the upcountry grids have surplus power but Andhra Pradesh is not in a position to buy at least a part of it due to non-availability of corridor (transmission line at required voltage). Under the arrangement, it proposed to make purchases from such States and supply the same to Gujarat and Maharashtra as a swap for their share from the K-G basin.

The plan was to bring more gas-based plants in the State into operation and tide over the power crisis. Only 400 MW out of the 2,774 MW installed capacity of the gas-based stations is being operated.

Gujarat and Maharashtra did not respond positively to AP’s plea at a meeting held in New Delhi recently. They took the stand that they too were suffering power shortage owing to heavy industrial demand.

Meanwhile, the overall daily demand in Andhra Pradesh is hovering around 280 million units and is likely to remain unchanged till the onset of monsoon.

Pooling all its resources, AP Transco is able to supply 240 mu. An official of APTransco, however, said the duration of the present power cuts would not be enhanced as there was only remote possibility of further increase in demand.

AP Transco pins high hopes on solar energy plants as they can be set up within a short time once the required equipment is purchased by the developer.

The utility has received as many as 331 bids, seeking to establish plants for a capacity of 1,780 MW compared to 1,000 MW for which it had called tenders. Bidders have been asked to respond before June 4 to the letters addressed to them by Transco offering to buy their power at Rs 6.49 per unit.