Anil Ambani seeks PM’s help for gas to fuel Samalkot plant

The Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group has sought Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s intervention for allocation of natural gas to its    Rs 10,000 crore plant at Samalkot, Andhra Pradesh.

In a communication to Dr Singh, Mr Anil Ambani, Group Chairman, ADAG, said the 2,400-MW plant was ready and awaiting allocation of 9.6 mmscmd gas as recommended by the Power Ministry.

Mr Ambani said, “We also understand an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGOM) meeting is to be convened to consider the proposals for gas allocation of various projects.”

He pointed out that the last meeting of EGOM was held in July 2010 and projects such as Samalkot were awaiting gas allocation for commissioning.

PRO-RATA ALLOCATION

Mr Ambani said that the Supreme Court ruling in 2010 in the Reliance Industries verses RNRL case said that “we should be considered for gas allocation in line with government policy. Now, we are ready for commissioning the plant and are requesting for gas for the power sector, which has been acknowledged as a priority sector. We fulfill all requirements for gas allocation as outlined by the Gas Utilisation Policy.”

Seeking distribution of available domestic gas to all existing and upcoming gas-based power projects on a pro-rata basis, Mr Ambani said he understood that there were short-term shortages on the supply front. ADAG had requested, in line with the Saumitra Chaudhari Committee report on pooling of gas prices, that the allocation to non- priority sectors be reallocated to the priority sectors of power and fertiliser.

ADAG had also requested that available gas for the power sector be equitably provided to all projects on an equal PLF (plant load factor) basis so that each of the units can achieve minimum viability until supplies ramp-up.

Mr Ambani went on to add that a memorandum of understanding had been signed for the project, during US President, Mr Barack Obama’s visit to India and the US Exim Bank had extended $600 million loan for equipment purchase.

In the second quarter, Mr J P Chalasani, Chief Executive Officer, Reliance Power, said he did not foresee any issue for gas during commissioning and only the long-term supply had to be addressed, which the plant would need by June, 2012.

He felt the plant would get 65 per cent of its requirement like others and could be operated during peak load time, till it began combined cycle operations, which would be by December, 2012. A combination of domestic and imported gas could be considered thereafter or the plant could operate at lower PLF of 65-75 per cent.

Source: BL

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