Ratnagiri Gas & Power Pvt Ltd, which was forced to shut down generation at the Dabhol project from March 1 due to non-availability of gas, resumed generation from April 3.
The project has received about 2.5 million metric standard cubic metre per day (mmscmd) of gas from GAIL for 15 days, and is currently generating 600 Mw against its total capacity of 1,967 Mw.
“Power generation has restarted following supply of gas till April 18.
"The project requires about 8.5 mmscmd gas for full operation and has been allocated 8.5 mmscmd of gas by the government of India.
"Of this, 7.6 mmscmd of gas was from the KG D-6 Basin and 0.9 from marginal gas fields of ONGC (through GAIL),” an RGPPL spokesman told Business Standard.
He, however, hoped the gas supply would further continue beyond April 18, as it would in turn help RGPPL to get revenue from Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MahaVitaran) in particular to service debt to lenders.
MahaVitaran, which draws 95 per cent of the power from the project, has started drawing power at Rs 4 per unit.
RGPPL has received much less gas during 2011-12 and 2012-13. So far, there has been a generation loss of 8,387 million units, while the loss in rupee terms will be about Rs 3,000 crore (Rs 30 billion) during 2012-13.
The project received an average 2.67 mmscmd of gas.
In 2011-12, about 3,095 MUs of generation was lost, as the company received an average 6.3
The loss will be of the order of Rs 1,150 crore (Rs 11.5 billion).
Despite the gas allocation to the Dabhol project being on a priority list after the fertiliser sector, the company is unable to get it.
An RGPPL official admitted the allocation of 2.5 mmscmd gas provides the much-needed relief, though temporary.
“The restoration of gas comes at a time when the company will be able to service debt to lenders, including IDBI Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India and Canara Bank, till only June if the project remains closed.
"The company has cash reserves of the order of Rs 300 crore (Rs 3 billion),” the official said. A MahaVitaran official hoped gas supply would be fully restored in the near future to enable RGPPL to run the project at its full capacity.
“MahaVitaran pays Rs 5.81 per unit for 300 MW while the tariff comes to Rs 3.80 per unit to procure 1,900 Mw.
"Currently, for 600 Mw, MahaVitaran will pay Rs 4 per unit,” the official informed.
However, the MahaVitaran official said the company was opposed to RGPPL going in for re-gasified liquefied natural gas without its consent or even for the gas procurement from the spot market.
“Currently, gas in the spot market is priced at $20 per million British thermal unit which in turn means the per unit tariff will not be less than Rs 8. If such a situation arises, MahaVitaran wants the government of India to take over the project and supply power at pool price which comes to around Rs 2.70 per unit,” he added.