Concerned that India’s demand of gas is not fully exploited, Power Minister Piyush Goyal today said the government is looking to sign long-term gas contracts with other countries to run its under-utilised power plants.
“We are hoping to tie up long-term gas contracts… so that we can start powering our gas-based power plants once again many of which are running at a very low level of capacity utilisation,” Goyal said addressing a ministerial session at Petrotech conference here.
Elaborating further, he said, “We do hope to see in the days to come some engagement where we can bring down our cost of gas and start powering our gas-based power plants. This will not only provide us clean fuel but also lead to spinning reserve so that our electricity grid remains stable. This will help us providing 24X7 affordable power to all by 2022.”
Earlier last year, the government had launched gas subsidy scheme under the Power System Development Fund (PSDF) to run stranded gas-based power plants is the country. Three phases of auction of e-bid Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) have been completed so far and the fourth Phase is presently under operation from October 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.Under the fourth phase, PSDF support ranges from Rs 0.21 per unit to Rs 0.22 per unit, which was secured by the successful bidders in the reverse auction.
You may like this video:-
The Centre had sanctioned PSDF scheme for importing spot Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) in 2015-16 and 2016-17 for the stranded gas based power plants as well as for plants receiving domestic gas up to the target Plant Load Factor (PLF), selected through a reverse e-bidding process.
The grid-connected gas based power generation capacity in the country is 24,150 MW. Of this, a capacity of 14,305 MW had no supply of domestic gas. These comprise 29 plants, which were eligible to participate in the auction under PSDF.
Goyal said the discussion during the Petrotech will help in framing a policy to expand the use of gas in days to come.
He further said, “India is largely import dependent in oil sector. We are 81 per cent import dependent in oil and 37 per cent in gas… we are not consuming gas to the extent we can. True demand of gas is not being exploited.”
On climate change, he said, “India is one country which is committed in its global fight against climate change. Our role in this global effort is not dependent on what any other country does. It is not because of compulsion but it comes out with commitment.”
Talking in lighter vein he said, “This is one industry (oil sector) which has dominated world politics. It is oil and gas. Probably, it dominated (US) election results…”
In another session, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said, “Petroleum Ministry and Petrochemical Ministry should be linked together. There should be one ministry.”
He further said, “There is no rationale of having one petroleum ministry and petrochemical ministry. There is need for convergence and integration across. A lot of value addition will happen across sectors like in gas with new technologies.” Talking about Make in India, he said there is specific plan across 25 sectors for make in India and there has been continuous monitoring of these sectors by the government.