Tech snag adds to power woes

Mumbai, Jan 22 | Updated: Jan 23 2007, 05:30am hrs
Even as the petroleum ministry and the power ministry are striving to keep the Ratnagiri power project up and running, power generation from one of the two gas turbines has been stopped due to serious damage in blades. This has resulted in Ratnagiri Gas & Power Pvt Ltd (RGPPL), which got possession Dabhol project assets in October 2005, generating only 350 mw from the second block, against a capacity of 740 mw. This has added to daily power deficit in Maharashtra. The state is finding it difficult to meet the ever-increasing power shortfall of around 5,000 mw.

The gas turbine will be repaired and brought back to operation only after two months. It means the project could generate about 350 mw and it will be supplied to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company, which as the sole buyer has an ad-hoc arrangement till March- end with RGPPL. The project is run on naphtha and the power is sold to MahaVitaran at Rs 5.10 per unit, sources told FE. As reported by FE, the project has every danger to close down if GAIL India, which holds 28.3%, fails to complete Dahej-Uran and Panvel-Dabhol pipelines by March-end to supply gas it wants to procure from the Petronet LNG Ltd. Moreover, the RGPPL has power sale agreement with MahaVitaran till March-end.

If RGPPL fails to keep the power tariff below Rs 3, Maha Vitaran has already expressed its inability to procure power from the project.