Reliance Power abandons 7200-MW power plant

Vol 15, PW 25 (28 Jun 12) Midstream & Downstream

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi will be angry if Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Power backs out of its promise to set up a 7200-MW gas-fired power project near Jambusar in Gujarat.

But state energy department officials are worried this is exactly what is happening. They’ve been closely reading a 70-page corporate presentation, prepared by Reliance for a Mumbai analyst summit this month.

Jambusar isn’t mentioned once in the document, nor is Gujarat - not under the heading, which says ‘implementation’; nor under the ‘development’ heading; not even under the ‘future projects’ heading. Instead Reliance hypes up its 1200-MW coal-fired power station at Rosa in Uttar Pradesh, commissioned two years ago, and a 40-MW solar power project in Rajasthan.

Reliance also mentions it is adding another 19,140-MW of electricity generation capacity and flags up the expansion of its gas-fired 220-MW power station at Samalkot in Andhra Pradesh to 2400-MW, but not Jambusar. Worried officials in Gandhinagar were hoping to announce progress on the $5.5bn power project near Jambusar at the next Vibrant Gujarat investor summit in January 2013.

“What will we say” wonders an official. “Will this project stay on paper only” When contacted, a Reliance source admits that the scarcity of cheap domestic gas has derailed its plans for Jambusar.

Reliance needs to source 28m cm/d for a project this size, almost equivalent to current D6 gas production. In January last year Modi’s office fast-tracked the allocation of 1800 acres of saltpan land at Khanpur-Deh village in Bharuch specifically for the project.

“Modi went out of his way for this project,” we hear, “and ensured Reliance got land in record time.”

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