Special Correspondent

To decide on the allocation of natural gas from RIL’s KG-D6 fields among power plants

RIL is to begin gas production from KG-D6 next week.

NEW DELHI: The Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry is understood to have written to the Election Commission seeking its permission to hold a meeting of an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) to take a decision on the allocation of natural gas from Reliance Industries Limited’s (RIL) Eastern offshore KG-D6 fields to power plants.

While the EGoM had already taken a decision on the distribution of the gas for fertilizer plants, the same had not been done in the case of power plants.

Official source said the EGoM was necessary to decide on the allocation among the power plants, giving preference to the units in Andhra Pradesh and Dabhol in Maharashtra.

RIL is to begin gas production from KG-D6 next week and the output is slated to be ramped up to beyond the first 15 million standard cubic metres a day that has been allocated among urea manufacturers.

The EGoM had earlier decided to give up to 18 mmscmd of gas from KG-D6 to existing power units, subsequent to which the Union Power Ministry had identified power plants of State-run NTPC as part recipient of the gas. RIL is opposed to giving gas to NTPC saying the state run firm had earlier declined to participate in the price discovery of KG-D6 gas and even refused to take the fuel at Dabhol citing court case with RIL. The output from KG-D6 is slated to rise to 40 mmscmd by July and double within a year.

The EGoM had earlier decided on the $4.20 per million British thermal unit rates for KG-D6 gas and allocation of initial 40 mmscmd among power, fertilizer and LPG extraction plants. Noting that production would begin soon, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has informed the Election Commission that it has become necessary to take a decision on the supply of gas to power plants.

The Ministry is also believed to have communicated to the Election Commission that some other representations have been received on issues related to commercial use of gas from KG-D6 and have been submitted to EGoM.