Understanding NTPC's demand for LNG in 2006

Vol 6, PW 12 (14 Aug 02) News in Brief

You might wonder why NTPC is so painfully slow in proceeding with its LNG tender.

We may have the answer! Look to its present chairman C.P Jain, a chartered accountant by training and whose previous job was as director finance.

"As an accountant, being conservative is second nature to Jain," we are told. Those who have met him describe Jain as very polite, very receptive, but a man of few words.

Jain retires from service in March 2006. He won his present job after much lobbying and according to the industry grapevine he's unwilling to "sully" his record with even a whiff of controversy.

In February, NTPC floated an inquiry for 5m t/y LNG from 2006-07. "As long as Jain is the chairman, no decision is likely to be taken," predicts one insider.

"This is why the requirement is being positioned to begin after he retires. You must remember that when NTPC floated an enquiry for LNG in 1999 Jain was director finance."