Ratnagiri power plant shut down

In another indication to worsening power generation in the country, the largest gas-based power project Ratnagiri Gas and Power Pvt Ltd (RGPPL), formerly known as the Dabhol Power Project has been shut down since Wednesday as the gas supply to the project shrunk to 0.4 mmscmd (million metric standard cubic metre per day), insufficient to run even a single turbine.

"Two weeks ago, the supply went down to 1-1.1 mmscmd, which was insufficient to generate power at the technical minimum load. We went for shutdown over weekends," said a top official. "However, since last Monday, the supply went down to 0.4 mmscmd. With that supply, we can't run and had to go for a complete shutdown on Wednesday."

The official said if the supply does not increase, then they will have to keep power generation on hold for more days. He said that currently they are in an "overdrawn situation" and if supply is increased, they would first have to square-off their position and would be able to restart by Tuesday.

"The situation has deteriorated and there is something wrong, for which everyone, including the government is concerned," he said. While the project has government allocation of 7.6 mmscmd of KG Basin gas and another 0.9 mmscmd from the government, sources say it is enough to run a 2,000 MW plant. However, with six turbines in running condition available with the firm, only one was operational over the last few months.

Sources said they have the option to purchase gas from the market but that is four times costlier than the price of rationed gas available to them at $4.2 per mmbtu.

CM Prithviraj Chavan Saturday expressed concern over the power situation while addressing party workers. The state government has already asked the Centre to intervene and revive Dabhol project.

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