RIL yet to supply gas to Bawana power plant, production hit

NEW DELHI, May 13:
Despite the Delhi Government building a 1,500 MW capacity power plant at Bawana at a cost of Rs 4,500 crore, Delhiites are expected to reel under severe power cuts this summer with Reliance Industries Ltd not supplying gas to the plant even after directions from the Oil Ministry.
After failing to get gas for the plant from RIL as per an earlier understanding, the Delhi Government in February had sought intervention of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who heads an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on gas allocation so that plant could at least generate 750 MW of power.
The EGoM in its meeting on February 24, heeding to the Delhi government’s request, had allocated 0.836 mmscmd (million metric standard cubic metres per day) to the plant from Reliance’s Andhra offshore KG-D6 fields but the company is yet to supply the fuel.
“We have made several requests to the RIL to supply the gas allocated by the EGoM. But the company is yet to honour the direction of the Oil Ministry saying there has been a drop in production of gas from KG-D6 fields,” a top Delhi Government official told.
The government was relying heavily on generation of power from the Bawana plant to meet the growing power demand during the summer months. As per Government estimates, the maximum demand is expected to go beyond 5,200 MW against the last year’s 5,028 MW.
The city gets 2,400 MW from central quota, while nearly 1,000 MW is produced by Delhi’s own electricity generating stations. As per projection by Central Electricity Authority, the power demand in Delhi will jump to 8,700 MW by 2017.
Officials said commissioning of the plant may also result in drop in power tariff in the city as cost of power procurement will come down. They said cost of per unit of power from Bawana plant would be in the range of Rs 4.30 to Rs 4.70.
Power being bought from Jhajhar power plant in Haryana currently cost in the range of Rs 5.50 to Rs 6.10 per unit.
The Delhi Government last year had sought intervention of the Prime Minister’s Office also in getting natural gas for the Bawana plant following refusal of Reliance Industries Ltd to supply the fuel.
The commissioning of second module of the power plant is slated for next month which will take the production capacity at the plant from current 750 MW to 1,500 MW.
Three turbines of the plant with a production capacity of 750 MW were synchronised last year, while construction of three other turbines were also completed.
The Centre had allocated 0.93 mmscmd gas from Reliance’s Andhra offshore KG-D6 fields for Bawana for 2009-10 and 2010-11 but as the plant missed scheduled deadline, the Delhi Government could not sign the Gas Sales Purchase Agreement with RIL.
In April last year after synchronisation of two gas-fired turbines of 250 MW at the plant, the Delhi Government had approached RIL to sign the contract.
But Reliance said it was in not in a position to sign the contract as available gas has already been allocated to other entities. (PTI)