The second day of imported re-gassified liquified natural gas (RLNG) auction saw gas-based power plants, with a combined capacity of 3,401 MW, share 1.1 mmscmd of available gas to run these capacities at the 35% plant load factor (PLF).
Out of the five successful bids, two came from NTPC, one from Gujarat-owned GSC and the other two from the private sector. A total of 9,845 MW capacity has been running at sub-optimal PLF due to scarcity of domestic gas. With the subsidised imported gas, these five units can now run at 35% PLF. The monetary support required for the capacity from the Centre is between R1.75-1.96 per unit.
The government had made 10 mmscmd of gas available for bidding — 8.9 mmscmd for stranded plants and 1.1 mmscmd for those receiving some domestic gas for June-September. As per the scheme, the Centre will again invite bids for 15 mmscmd of imported RLNG post -September.
Experts believe that while the scheme will enhance production from plants already running on domestic gas, the auction will bring relief to successfull stranded plants with a combined capacity of 6, 867 MW. These units will now be able to service their debt which would help them from being classified as non-performing assets (NPAs) by their lenders.
As per official estimates, total gas based capacity—both stranded and those running at sub-par PLF—account for investment worth nearly R1,00,000 crore.