Dabhol plant to reopen after 532 days

After an almost 532-day closure, power generation at the Dabhol plant (now known as Ratnagiri project) will resume June 15.
The reboot comes after Ratnagiri Gas & Power Pvt Ltd (RGPPL) secured 1.98 million metric standard cubic feet per day (MMSCMD) of gas during the recent reverse bidding completed by the Centre. The per unit tariff is projected at Rs 4.70.
The plant has been shut since 28 December, 2013 for want of gas and also due to financial constraints.
RGPPL initially plans to generate 500 MW against the total capacity of 1,967 MW. The board is meeting on Tuesday to take a formal decision in this regard.
The union minister of power, renewable power and coal Piyush Goyal confirmed the development.
“The company has secured 1.98 MMSCMD of gas which will help restore the power generation. RGPPL will secure additional gas in the next round of bidding,” he told Business Standard.
Goyal further said the Centre is exploring the option of setting up breakwater at the Dabhol plant as this will enable conversion of LNG into gas. According to the minister, LNG regasification will help gas-based power plants including the Dabhol project.
However, RGPPL will have to scout for new buyers as Maharashtra has already terminated its power purchase agreement (PPA) in January this year citing unilateral change in the deal. RGPPL has disputed the Maharashtra government’s move.
As per the PPA, state-run Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MahaVitaran) was procuring 95% power while the balance 5% was being supplied to Goa. MahaVitaran, which is currently engaged in a regulatory battle with RGPPL, has indicated that it was not keen to draw power from the Dabhol project as it has enough of power to meet the state’s demand.
A RGPPL official said Karnataka and couple of other states have evinced interest in procuring power from Dabhol project. However, he admitted that issues relating to the scheduling of power and its transmission will have to be sorted out.

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