EGoM meeting on natural gas priority issue postponed again

EGoM meeting on natural gas priority issue postponed again New Delhi: A meeting of a high-powered ministerial panel, that was to consider making available natural gas to fuel starved power plants from sources other than Reliance Industries' KG-D6 fields, has again been postponed.

The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), headed by Defence Minister A K Antony, was scheduled to meet tomorrow but has been put off, official sources said.

No new dates of the meeting have been fixed.

With KG-D6 production dropping by nearly 80 percent during past two-and-half-years, there is no gas left for the 25 power plants that had signed up for 29.74 million standard cubic metres per day of gas with RIL.

EGoM at a meeting last week decided against diverting some of the gas currently consumed by the fertiliser sector as it would have impacted crop harvest.

Sources said alternatives like supplying untied gas of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) to the power plants was to be discussed at the EGoM meeting on Thursday.

At present, only a third of the 72 mmcmd of gas requirement of the 18,713 MW gas-based power plants is being met. Another 8,000 MW capacity is almost ready for commissioning but there is no gas availability to fire the plants.

Currently, fertiliser plants consume all of the 14 mmscmd 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