D6 gas only for 10-MW captive power stations

Vol 13, PW 19 (11 Mar 10) Midstream & Downstream

Bad news if you are a factory or mill owner with a captive gas-based electricity station of less than 10-MW generation capacity! PETROWATCH learns the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) is recommending that only captive power stations with generation capacities above 10-MW should qualify to receive D6 gas from Reliance.

Last month (February) the CEA drew up a list of 84 such stations and submitted a set of recommendations about other qualifying criteria to the oil and power ministries. “D6 gas demand far outstrips supply,â€‌ a CEA source tells this report.

“So not all Indian captive power stations will get an allocation.â€‌ This 84-strong list from the CEA comes in response to a decision by the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on October 26 last year to allocate 10m cm/d of D6 gas on a â€کfall-back’ basis to captive power stations in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi.

But even if the CEA has narrowed down eligible stations to 84 won’t there be a problem dividing 10m cm/d among so many “Our duty was to compile the list of eligible power stations,â€‌ adds a CEA source. “How the gas is divided depends on the EGoM and the oil ministry.

â€‌ Most upset will be factories which have invested in smaller captive power stations, for example textile mills in Gujarat. “We just haven’t considered such stations,â€‌ says the CEA.

“It would cause too much trouble!â€‌ In June, Gujarat energy minister Saurabh Patel claimed that nearly 4500-MW of captive gas based power generation in Gujarat is lying idle because of gas shortages. Patel is believed to have submitted a list of at least 100 captive power stations to the CEA, of which only a fraction will have been selected.

Around 23% of installed generating capacity in Gujarat is gas based – the highest in India. In Surat alone, there are 20 captive gas-fired plants - sadly many of these will not have made it onto the CEA list!