Gas shortage has hit power plants in Oil Minister Jaipal Reddy’s home state Andhra Pradesh. Power production to the tune of nearly 400 mega watt has been affected as gas-fired plants are receiving far less gas than what was promised to these power plants.
Reliance Industries’ (RIL) KG-D6 gas field’s output has dropped to 29 million units as against a planned 80 million units leading to short supply of gas-run power stations in Andhra Pradesh.
“There is severe shortage in availability of gas in KG basin. RIL’s said field was to produce 80 million standard cubic meters per day (MMSMCD) in the current year. But it is producing merely 29 MMSCMD,” Reddy told reporters on Tuesday.
Reddy said, AP has been most hit as short supply of gas to gas-based power plants has led to severe drop in power generation.
The situation has aggravated further as hydel power plants are also running below capacity due to poor rainfall, while thermal plants are producing less for want of coal.
Things have been made worse as the government has decided to cut gas supplies to fuel-starved power plants across the country so that requirement of one power station at Dabhol in Maharashtra is met to the full.
The Oil Ministry had last week ordered RIL to use the dwindling KG-D6 gas to first meet full requirement of Dabhol power plant in Maharashtra and supply any remaining output among the 24 other power plants. However, that never happened as output from the KG-D6 fields touched an all-time low.
“That decision,” Reddy said, “was taken by an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) in 2008. I will consult all other ministries to see what can be done,” he said.
Power plants currently get about 12 MMSCMD of gas from KG-D6. They would be left with hardly 4 MMSCMD after 7.6 MMSCMD is first supplied to Dahbol plant as per the ministry order.
Meanwhile, Reliance and BP plc on Tuesday won approval for over $1 billion expenditure in the flagging KG-D6 gas block but were ordered to drill more wells at their own cost before three gas finds can be declared viable.