NTPC misleading government : RIL

Written by fe Bureaus | Mumbai | Updated: Aug 29 2009, 05:09am hrs
Amid the petroleum ministry's move to file interlocutory application in the Supreme Court to protect interest of NTPC, the Mukesh Ambani controlled Reliance Industries (RIL) said NTPC had agreed to RIL on obtaining government approval for gas price. The fact is that NTPC was not only aware of the requirement of gas price approval under production sharing contract (PSC) but had insisted upon and agreed to its inclusion as a condition precedent to the gas supply agreement. NTPC's letter to the government at this stage is clearly an after thought intended to mislead the government, RIL president & CEO (petroleum exploration and production) PMS Prasad.

Prasad in his letter sent to petroleum secretary RS Pandey alleged that NTPC was misleading the government by saying that it was not aware of the condition that the price of gas to be supplied to it was subject to Centre's approval. Prasad referred to NTPC chairman R S Sharma's recent letter addressed to the government which said that RIL did not convey to NTPC that the price of gas quoted by RIL in the international competitive bidding was subject to approval of the government under the PSC. However, Prasad noted if the NTPC chairman was denying knowledge of this, nothing can be farther from the truth. Prasad missive is crucial as the empowered group of ministers (eGoM) approved price of $4.2 per million British thermal unit ( mmBtu) for RIL's KG-D6 gas was without prejudice to the ongoing legal battle, where NTPC is seeking the fuel at a committed price of $2.34 per mmBtu.

NTPC chairman RS Sharma did not respond to calls made for his comments.