NTPC, which jointly promotes the Ratnagiri Gas and Power Pvt Ltd, has sought Central Electricity Regulatory Commission's intervention to review power tariff for electricity generated from the 1,967-MW plant at the site. "We have written to CERC for a review. There is no domestic gas and if the plant is stranded for longer term, it would become a non-performing asset," a Director on the board of NTPCsaid.
NTPC has little option but to run the power plant, the erstwhile Dabhol project, with imported gas. It cannot sell electricity at the current rate after using expensive imported fuel.
At present, the electricity tariff is around Rs 3.40-3.50 a unit. It includes Rs 2 a unit as fixed cost and remaining variable. Using imported gas would push up the electricity rate by three to four times, said A.K. Jana, Deputy Managing Director of Ratnagiri Gas and Power.
Electricity from the Dabhol station is sold to Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd. The distribution utility is not ready to buy expensive electricity.
NTPC has sought Power Ministry's intervention to sort out the issue with the Maharashtra Government.
The power producer is left with no option but to generate expensive electricity, as it is required to service its debt. It has put in a total equity of Rs 974.30 crore. Ratnagiri Gas and Power has a total outstanding debt of about Rs 9,000 crore and needs about Rs 100 crore for its servicing every month.
Arup Roy Choudhury, Chairman and Managing Director, NTPC, has informed Power Secretary P. Uma Shankar that if the situation continues, the company will not be able to service its debt obligations and the assets face danger of being declared non-performing assets.
The Government allocated 8.5 million standard cubic metres a day of gas from Reliance Industries operated KG-D6 block.
Since September 2011, there has been continuous decline in supply and no gas is flowing into the project presently.
NTPC has informed the Power Ministry that Ratnagiri Gas is the only integrated complex with a power station and LNG terminal side-by-side.
This meant that it can generate power with imported gas at least cost compared to any other gas-based station in the country.
Ratnagiri Gas and Power is promoted by NTPC and GAIL (India) with 33.41 per cent stake each.
MSEB Holding Co has 16.04 per cent, while the remaining 17.14 per cent is held by other financial institutions.
Source - Hindu