Oil Ministry says no additional fuel available from NELP fields till March 2017
The government will not be able to accommodate all idling power plants in its proposed price pooling scheme, as the oil ministry has conveyed that no additional fuel is available from the NELP fields till March 2017. This is a setback for the Rs 1,00,000 crore stressed gas-based plants that pinned hopes on the proposal to prevent turning into bad loans.
Power secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha said on Friday, “We are reworking the gas price pooling proposal after the oil ministry said there is no additional gas available. One option being considered is to stagger the scheme depending on the availability of gas.”
Asenior government official told ET that the power ministry is working on a criteria to prioritise power plants of companies such as NTPC, Lanco Infratech, Essar Power, Reliance Power, GVK Group and GMR Energy. However, criteria will also depend on the gas allocation policy. The oil ministry proposes to drop power plants to fifth on the priority list for allocation from all sources after atomic energy stations, higher hydrocarbons and urea plants.
Association of Power Producers director general Ashok Khurana said, “Of the Rs 1,00,000 crore in 24,000-mw stressed gas-based units, Rs 70,000 crore is from banks. The power ministry was attempting to salvage this. NPAs create a collateral damage,” he said.