Power plants in Andhra are first in line for D6 gas

Vol 12, PW 21 (26 Mar 09) Midstream & Downstream

Andhra Pradesh power producers are being treated more generously than those in western and northern India.

According to the March 5 power ministry note, the eight identified Andhra-based power plants will be allocated enough gas to operate at 70% PLF. But power plants based in western and northern India, classified as â€کothers’, have been allocated only enough to operate their plants at 60.5% PLF.

NTPC, the country’s largest power generation company, is the biggest loser. Five of its six gas-based power plants with a combined generation capacity of 2952-MW have been allocated a paltry 2.67m cm/d, hardly enough to generate power even at 60.5% PLF.

These are: the 644-MW plant at Kawas; the 648-MW plant at Gandhar; the 817-MW plant at Dadri; the 430-MW plant at Faridabad in Haryana and 413-MW plant at Anta in Rajasthan. NTPC’s 652-MW plant at Auriya stands out as the only one not to be allocated gas.

Against its allocation of only 2.67m cm/d, NTPC was asking for 14.16m cm/d to operate its plants at 90% PLF. After NTPC, the second biggest loser is the former Enron-owned 2150-MW Ratnagiri power plant at Dabhol, a 50:50 joint venture between NTPC and GAIL.

According to the power ministry list, Ratnagiri has been allocated 2.7m cm/d against a requirement of 9.4m cm/d to generate power at 90% PLF, but won’t be receiving the gas anytime soon for reasons that are not entirely clear. Instead, the power ministry appears to be suggesting that the gas allocated for Ratnagiri be diverted to NTPC and has asked NTPC to provide Reliance with a detailed list outlining which of its stations need how much gas.

Whether that directive is followed up remains to be seen given that both sides are still fighting in the Mumbai High Court over NTPC’s insistence that Reliance reneged on a promise to sell its gas at $2.97/mmbtu. Another big loser from the power ministry recommendation is Essar Power’s 500-MW power plant at Bhander in Hazira (Gujarat), which has not been allocated any gas.