Bawana will need 5.8m cm/d by next March

Vol 15, PW 3 (11 Aug 11) Midstream & Downstream

Thanks to the Prime Minister’s Office, Pragati Power’s gas-fired Bawana power station in northwest Delhi will begin generating around 750-MW of electricity next month.

PETROWATCH learns TKA Nair, then principal secretary to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, intervened to ensure Bawana gets the full 2.4m cm/d of gas it needs to generate 750-MW. On July 17, Nair chaired a meeting at his Delhi office to review gas supplies to Delhi-based power stations, and Bawana in particular.

Nair argued no coal-fired thermal power station should be allowed in the Delhi region because of strict anti-pollution rules set by the local pollution control board. “The only other option is a gas-fired power station,” Nair told a team of assembled power ministry officials.

“Hence, it is imperative to allocate gas to the (Bawana) power station in Delhi as a ‘special case.’” Barely a fortnight later, on July 27, power ministry director (thermal) Alok Kumar wrote to the influential Central Electricity Authority (CEA), asking it to “explore the possibility of sparing 850,000 cm/d of gas for Bawana by re-allocating (subsidised) gas previously allocated to the power sector.

” As for the remaining 1.55m cm/d needed at Bawana, this is likely to come from ONGC’s western offshore C-Series and Bandra formation marginal fields in line with an oil ministry assurance made to the power ministry more than two months ago. “We sought the Prime Minister’s help,” confirms a senior Pragati Power source.

“It was Manmohan Singh himself who laid the foundation stone of the Bawana station (on March 24, 2008).” Another 750-MW capacity is expected to be added to the Bawana power station by March 2012.

When that happens, Bawana’s total electricity generation capacity will be 1500-MW, needing 5.8m cm/d in total.