Ratnagiri asked to study Dabhol project expansion to 5K mw

Mumbai, Nov 15 | Updated: Nov 16 2005, 05:30am hrs
The Union power ministry, in line with its move to invite global tenders for ultra power projects of 5,000-10,000 mw, has asked Ratnagiri Gas & Power Pvt Ltd (RGPPL) to carry out a feasibility and detailed project report (DPR) to expand the capacity of the Dabhol project to 5,000 mw. Currently, it stands at 2,184 mw.

Also, the ministry, at its review meeting chaired by power secretary RV Shahi on Tuesday, advised RGPPL to appoint Petronet LNG as the project management consultant mainly for the completion of LNG regasification at the plant site.

Even as GAIL India, which holds a 28.33% stake in RGPPL and has yet to close the deal for LNG supply for the Dabhol project, indicated that it would be able to supply from its present availability of about 0.7 million tonne (mt) of LNG for the commissioning of block II of the project which is of 740 mw.

Sources involved in Tuesdays meeting told FE that simultaneously GAIL India has been asked to clinch a long-term deal for the supply of 5 mt of LNG that would be needed for the over 5,000 mw project.

Despite a tight LNG and crude market, efforts will be made so that the per unit tariff remains at Rs 2.50 instead of the originally projected Rs 2.30.

FE had reported earlier this year that the power ministry had favoured the expansion of the Dabhol plant with a total capacity of over 5,000 mw. At todays meeting, the ministry has asked RGPPL not only to concentrate on the revival of Dabhol project with its present capacity of 2,184 mw but also launch feasibility study and carry out DPR for its expansion, sources noted.

The sources admitted that block I (740 MW), which was functional in May 1999 and June 2001, was partially damaged because of rusting.

Thus, RGPPL has been asked to first commission block II by May 15 next year. Block II was operated for a mere 765 hours. RGPPL has also been advised to make all efforts to commission block I by the same time. The rest, including 740 MW of power block and regasification unit, are expected to be complete during August and November next year, the sources said.