Dabhol portfolios likely to turn NPAs, RBI to lenders

Written by Sanjay Jog | Mumbai | Updated: Nov 6 2009, 05:05am hrs
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has informed lenders of the Dabhol power project that their portfolios in the project will become non-performing assets (NPAs) soon if Ratnagiri Gas & Power Pvt Ltd (RGPPL), the owner and operator of the Dabhol project, continues to default on debt servicing.

Lenders including IDBI, ICICI, SBI and Canara Bank, which collectively hold 27.08% in the project, have provided a loan of over Rs 8,000 crore for its revival.

From April to September, MahaVitaran, the sole procurer of around 930 mw of power from Dabhol project, owes Rs 141 crore to RGPPL towards capacity charge component of the total per unit tariff of Rs 3.50. If the situation continues, the project will face closure.

RGPPL sources told FE on Tuesday, The RBIs warning did come up for discussion at the RGPPL board meeting. Even though the Appellate Tribunal for electricity in its interim order has allowed the recovery of capacity charge of Rs 2.24 against RGPPLs demand of Rs 2.65, MahaVitaran is paying capacity charge of only Rs 1.01. It owes Rs 141 crore to RGPPL and this had led to a situation wherein RGPPL is not in a position to service debt.

Sources said that MahaVitaran has applied to the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) for the recovery of Rs 2.24 from its consumers so that debt servicing becomes easy. However, MERC has yet to issue its order. Moreover, MahaVitaran needs to recover Rs 80 crore every month from its consumers to make up the gap.

More importantly, Rs 300 crore would be required immediately to repair the damaged turbines and rotars. This is despite the RGPPL recently entered into a comprehensive service agreement with GE which has supplied the 9FA turbine for the project. RGPPL had sought the capacity charge of Rs 2.65 so that such a repair would have been possible apart from debt servicing.