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Web Exclusive | June 2013

Power Ministry to ask CCI for more gas, price pooling

The Union Power Ministry will approach the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) seeking 6 million standard cubic meters per day of gas, currently consumed by non-core sectors like steel and petrochemicals, to power plants. Besides, it also wants 6.47 mmscmd of gas State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) will produce from new fields as well as 5.24 mmscmd gas from Gujarat State Petroleum Corp's (GPSC) Deen Dayal West (DDW) gas field in KG basin. The Ministry will request the CCI's approval for pooling price of domestic and imported gas.

These proposals are parallel to the Oil Ministry's approach to an Empowerd Group of Ministers (EGoM) on gas allocation for abolishing the priority ranking in natural gas allocation so that fuel currently consumed by urea plants can be diverted to fuel-starved power stations. Abolishing priority ranking, according to which power plants get gas only if any is left after meeting requirements of front ranking sectors of fertilizer and LPG, would make available another 8 mmscmd to electricity generating units.

These moves would help generate 16,044 mw of power, sources said quoting the Power Ministry's proposal. The Power Ministry had last year rejected pooling of gas prices as it would have meant older plants of state-owned firms paying higher price for the fuel just to make feedstock affordable to newer units that are mostly owned by private sector.

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