EGoM on gas postponed

EGoM on gas postponed New Delhi: A meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) which was to consider making available natural gas to fuel-starved power plants, has been postponed.

The EGoM headed by Defence Minister A K Antony was to meet this morning but was postponed following bereavement in Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily's family, official sources said.

Moily is travelling to Chennai to be with the family of his wife's sister, whose husband had died yesterday. He will return to national capital on Wednesday.

At present, only a third of the 72 million standard cubic metres per day of gas requirement of the 18,713 MW gas-based power plants is being met. Another 8,000 MW capacity is almost ready for commission but there is no gas to fire the plants.

Last week the EGoM rejected a proposal to divert some of the 14 mmscmd of KG-D6 gas consumed by fertiliser plants to the power sector as it would result in shortage of urea during the busy crop season.

The EGoM today was to decide on making available gas from other sources to power plants.

While options like gas from untied fields of state-owned ONGC are being explored, fertiliser ministry has been asked if it can spare any quantity that is unutilised in events like plant shutdowns, etc.

The EGoM meeting last week was convened to consider abolishing the priority ranking in natural gas allocation so that the fuel currently consumed by urea plants can also be diverted to fuel-starved power plants.

Currently, fertiliser plants consume all of the 14 million standard cubic metres per day of gas produced from Reliance Industries' eastern offshore KG-D6 fields. No gas flows to 25 power plants that had signed up for 29.74 mmscmd of KG-D6 gas.

PTI