Ratnagiri board to approve Dabhol expansion

Vol 14, PW 6 (09 Sep 10) Midstream & Downstream

Ambitious plans to increase the Dabhol power station’s capacity by 2100-MW at an estimated cost of Rs8800cr ($1.87bn) should be approved by owner Ratnagiri Gas later this month.

PETROWATCH learns approval for the expansion project is expected at the next Ratnagiri Gas board meeting on September 24. This approval was earlier expected at the August 20 board meeting held in Delhi but was postponed as the directors wanted more technical and financial details.

NTPC, which jointly owns Ratnagiri Gas with GAIL, has sent in a Draft Feasibility Report to the board. “The final report will be submitted after board approval,” says a Ratnagiri Gas source.

It should take only 28 months after EPC contracts are awarded, he adds, to expand Dabhol’s existing installed capacity of 2150-MW. “This (2100-MW) expansion will build on existing facilities,” our source explains.

Ratnagiri Gas is also busy with a tender to hire a dredging contractor for the Dabhol shipping channel, needed to receive LNG carriers for the adjacent LNG terminal. It scrapped an earlier dredging tender won by Gammon India last November, as Gammon failed to mobilise equipment.

We learn the bid submission deadline for the fresh tender is September 19. “This time we’ve made it clear the dredging contractor should own ‘dredgers’,” says Ratnagiri Gas.

“We don’t want a repeat of last time when Gammon won but had no dredgers and couldn’t hire any.” Last November, Ratnagiri wanted Gammon to clear 3.5m cubic metres of silt and 65,000 cubic metres of rock from the Dabhol channel so LNG tankers could berth.

“But the amount of silt will have increased by now,” we hear. Ratnagiri Gas wants the selected contractor to begin work around November and complete it by next May (2011).

In December this year Ratnagiri Gas hopes to bring in a small LNG cargo, of around 87,000 cubic metres, to commission the Dabhol LNG terminal.