Millennium Post

Gas scarcity forces Dabhol plant to run at low capacity

The beleaguered Dabhol power plant is running at less than one-third its capacity as natural gas supplies have dipped despite the government giving it top priority in allocation of fuel.

The 1,967 mega-watt station–India's largest gas-fired power plant that was originally built by now bankrupt US energy major Enron Corp and revived after a mammoth government effort–is producing only 630 MW electricity.

The plant needs a total of 9.2 million cubic metres of gas per day. It was allocated 7.6 mmcmd from KG-D6 field of Reliance Industries to enable the plant to operate at least 70 per cent of its capacity but it is currently getting only 3 mmcmd, plant head Arun Kumar Garg said.

Ratnagiri Gas and Power Pvt Ltd, as the project was rechristened as, was in February this year accorded top priority at par with fertiliser plants in getting KG-D6 gas.

This meant in event of KG-D6 output dropping below volumes already committed to industries across sector, the full committed requirement of Dabhol and urea plants would be first met before others given pro-rated supplies.

The oil ministry first took more than five months to implement this decision taken at by an Empowered Group of Ministers on 24 February and then put it hold within days of it being brought into effect as Andhra Pradesh power plants protested drop in supplies.
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