Essar Supreme Court case

Vol 16, PW 1 (26 Jul 12) News in Brief

Ruia-controlled Essar Steel has dragged the oil ministry to the Supreme Court for cutting 3.2m cm/d of D6 gas supplies to its Hazira steel factory in Gujarat last year.

Justices Surinder Singh Nijjar and Altamas Kabir will preside over the second hearing expected on August 1. Senior lawyer Mukul Rohatgi is representing Essar and will do battle with India’s attorney general Goolam Essaji Vahanvati, arguing for the ministry.

Essar is appealing a September 29 order by Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw of the Delhi High Court, who ruled in the ministry’s favour and dismissed Essar’s original petition. “The first Supreme Court hearing was on June 9,” says a source.

“Essar is hoping for a verdict soon and is confident it will win.” Essar argues the ministry transgressed by cancelling the Empowered Group of Ministers gas allocation it won in 2009.

Spot LNG prices have fallen from $14/mmbtu to $12/mmbtu but are still too expensive for Essar to use as feedstock in steel production.

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