Oman LNG has agreed to supply gas at spot price
Efforts to enter into long-term contractsMaharashtra locates sites for ultra mega power plants
MUMBAI: The Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, Prithviraj Chavan, on Friday left for the Sultanate of Oman for a possible tie-up for gas supply for the Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private Ltd (RGPPL), the erstwhile Dabhol Power Company, Maharashtra, to meet the deadline of re-starting the plant by May this year.
At present, "we need seven lakh tonnes of gas per annum," said Mr. Chavan, while addressing a press conference before leaving for Oman. He said the Ministry of Petroleum also was making efforts to get gas for the Ratnagiri plant by entering into long-term contracts with other countries such as Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia and some Gulf countries.
High cost of naphtha
Even though Oman LNG had given a positive response for supply of gas, it was not ready to go in for a long-term contract but would sell LNG at the spot price. Mr. Chavan said Oman LNG had agreed to separate the issue of gas supply from the erstwhile Dabhol related matters.
Mr. Chavan said the project would be started on naphtha fuel, if there was a delay in starting it on LNG. He, however, asserted that considering the high cost of the fuel, naphtha would be used for peak power requirements only. The current stock of naphtha at RGPPL is around 34,000 kl and the requirement of LNG will progressively increase from seven lakh tonnes in June this year to 2.1 million tonnes by October, when all the three blocks start operations.
He said phase-II of the project would begin on schedule. The first and third blocks would be started later. The Central Government had made an investment of around Rs 10,000 crore in reviving the project.
The Minister also announced that the Maharashtra Government had selected two sites, namely, Dopave and Vijaydurg, for 4,000 MW ultra mega power plants. The Central Government had announced the ultra mega plant policy under which five power projects of 4,000 MW were to be started in Gujarat, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. He said the Central Government would take care of uncertainties associated with these projects to the extent possible. He also said that Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) for these projects have been created.