November 12 2019
Power sector honchos seek natural gas on priority basis
22 February 2012

Urge Centre to reform debt-ridden state electricity boards

Leading power sector honchos on Wednesday met the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Pulok Chatterjee, and demanded that steps be taken to address their long-pending demands, including immediate allocation of gas to all the projects recommended by the Power Ministry, reforms in the debt-ridden state electricity boards and priority in gas allocation to power and fertilizer sectors in the XII Plan.

They also sought an assurance that gas may be given to the remaining projects which will be completed in 2012-13, including preferential allocation of natural gas as recommended by the Saumitra Chaudhuri Committee on natural gas price pooling.

They also urged the PMO to issue a clear directive that no further gas-based capacity would be considered for allocation until existing XI Plan gas demand was fulfilled from domestic gas ramp-ups and long-term gas supply agreements to be signed (in line with government directive for coal) and bulk LNG imports to be undertaken to fulfil the short-term demand.

Emerging out of the meeting, Association of Power Producers (APP) Director-General, Ashok Khurana said Mr. Chatterjee agreed with the proposal given by the delegation and assured that the recommendations made by them would be addressed immediately.

At present, almost all of the 35 million standard cubic metres per day (mscmd) of gas output from KG-D6 field is consumed by priority sectors of fertilizer and power, over 7 mscmd of gas produced by state-owned ONGC is being supplied to non-priority sectors.

Those who met Mr. Chatterjee included Reliance Power Chairman Anil Ambani and Tata Group Chairman-designate Cyrus Mistry.

The power sector leaders urged the government to snap gas supplied by ONGC to non-priority sector. They wanted a pool to be created for the gas thus freed and the about 25 mscmd of KG-D6 gas supplied to the power sector.

Interestingly, the EGoM will be struggling to allocate gas as the demand for more power comes amid projections by RIL that output from KG-D6 will dip to 27 mscmd next fiscal and to about 22 mscmd in the year thereafter.

The leaders also met Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.



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