RIL counters Scindia claim on power plant idlying due to KG-D6

RIL counters Scindia claim on power plant idlying due to KG-D6 New Delhi: Reliance Industries has countered Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia's assertion that power plants were lying idle due to fall in KG-D6 gas supplies, saying most of these plants were built much before the field was even discovered.

RIL Executive Director P M S Prasad on August 24 wrote to Scindia saying none of the 31 power plants that he had stated as being dependent on gas supplies from RIL, were "installed or financed on the basis of supply of KG-D6 gas".

"All records available (based on publicly available information) reveal that almost all of these plants came up and were financed by lending institutions, based on specific alternative allocations/supply sources much before the KG-D6 block had even acquired a development plan," he wrote.

These plants, he said, were built on promise of gas from ONGC, Cairn, GSPC-Niko or BG-operated PMT fields.

"In most cases, the stipulated gas supplies not materialising or other fuels being found to be too expensive, allocations of KG-D6 gas were made by way of substitution in 2008," Prasad wrote attaching list of power plants, their date of commissioning and the stated source of fuel.

Scindia had on August 22 told Lok Sabha that 31 power plants of 14,028 MW capacity were dependent on KG-D6 gas. Of these, 12 plants with generation capacity of 2,978.62 MW were solely dependent on gas supplies from RIL'S KG-D6 fields and are lying idle.

With water and sand ingress shutting down half of wells on KG-D6 fields, gas production has dropped dramatically and power plants, which are third in priority list for receipt of gas, are not being supplied any fuel since March.

Prasad said of the 31 power plants mentioned by Scindia, 20 with combined capacity of 9,100 MW had been commissioned even before RIL gas discovery in KG-D6 block in 2002. Another 300 MW got commissioned in 2003.

Further out of the remaining 4,600 MW, 3,800 MW was installed or was under construction before 2005. "All these plants had allocations as well as specific fuel supply agreements on the basis of APM gas, gas from domestic sources other than KG-D6 or LNG," he said.

RIL had barely begun to invest in developing the D1&D3 gas fields in KG-D6 block in 2005 and so out of 14,028 MW mentioned by Scindia to be dependent on KG-D6 gas, 13,200 MW were either already installed or under construction before that, he said.

Prasad said the statement that 3000 MW of projects that were dependent completely on KG-D6 gas and lying idle due to fall in KG-D6 output was factually incorrect.

Of these, 2,150 MW was in existence before 2002 and another 1,200 MW was constructed based on imported LNG as fuel, he said.

RTI