It looks like the fate of the proposed Natural Gas (NG)-fuelled mega power projects of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) in the state solely depends on the pricing of the fuel. Though many of the projects are coming up in Ernakulam district the final decision is yet to be taken by the Board.
"The future of liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plants in the state depends on the availability of domestic gas and the cooling off of imported LNG prices. A final decision could only be taken after considering these factors," KSEB authorities stated in an RTI query about the present status of the NG power projects in the state.
The proposed mega power plants using LNG as fuel in the state are Brahmapuram Combined Cycle Plant (400 Mega Watt), conversion of Kayamkulam NTPC (360MW), Kayamkulam NTPC expansion (1950MW), Puthuvype (1200MW) and Cheemeni project (1200MW).
Much to the dismay of the Board, the source of availability of NG in the state is the Petronet LNG Terminal at Puthuvype. The connectivity to supply the fuel from there to the target customers is not ready which mars the hope of getting the domestically available gas from other parts of the country.
"Since the current asking price of LNG from the Puthuvype terminal hovers around $24 per million metric British thermal units, the cost of power generation may be '15. The current production cost at diesel power plants is '13 per unit. According to the earlier estimate, the power generation cost using natural gas was below '10 per unit but with the increase in the imported gas price the chance of producing cheaper power is bleak," experts point out.
It is learnt that the KSEB has applied for the supply of domestic gas for all these proposed power projects. Apart from these mega projects there are also plans to convert the existing Brahmapuram diesel power plant (36MW) and BSES naphtha power plant at Eloor (157MW) into natural gas mode.
"We are giving priority to convert the existing power plants running on other fuels into natural gas. The pricing of the fuel from the Puthuvype terminal remains a key challenge for the implementation of the mega power projects," KSEB sources said.
Source - Indian Express