NTPC side-steps RIL attack; talking for gas to other plants

NTPC side-steps RIL attack; talking for gas to other plants
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First Published: Fri, Sep 04 2009. 04 48 PM IST
Updated: Fri, Sep 04 2009. 04 48 PM IST
New Delhi: Irked by the response of Reliance Industries on resolving an issue coming in the way of the gas contract, power PSU NTPC today said it talking to Mukesh Ambani led company to lift fuel alloted by the government.
At the same time, the corporation refused to join issue with RIL, which attacked it for not reciprocating on a 2004 deal to gas at $2.34 per mmBtu, saying: “The facts of the case are before the High Court. Hence, NTPC does not want to comment on this.”
NTPC took RIL to court in 2005 over the alleged failure of the Mukesh Ambani-led company to implement a gas supply contract.
RIL has in the recent past written a number of letters to the Power Ministry questioning the role of NTPC in the dispute as also the corporation’s failure to lift the fuel that was allotted by an empowered Group of Ministers.
“With respect to allocation of KG-D6 gas by an eGoM for NTPC’s existing gas based power stations, various issues for signing (GSPA) with RIL have been resolved, except for one,” the power PSU said, adding that a solution suggested by NTPC to RIL was not acceptable to the Mukesh Ambani-led company.
In a notice to stock exchanges, it said “NTPC is further discussing with RIL for early resolution of the issue,” but did not elaborate on the irritant.
The eGoM had allocated gas from RIL’s KG basin fields to NTPC’s Anta, Dadri and Faridabad power stations.
NTPC is committed to drawing the (eGoM) allocated gas for its NCR gas based power stations at Anta, Dadri and Faridabad, without prejudice to its rights and contentions in the ongoing suit between NTPC and RIL... before the Bombay High Court,” the PSU said.
The government had allocated 2.67 million standard cubic meters per day of gas from RIL’s eastern offshore KG-D6 fields to NTPC, but unlike the 35 other customers identified for the gas, the state-run firm is yet to sign a Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement (GSPA).
RIL has so far contracted gas supplies to 15 fertiliser firms, 19 power plants and three steel makers.
RIL had agreed to sign the GSPA with the caveat that the agreements would be “without prejudice” to the outcome of the case in Bombay High Court over a 2004 tender where the Mukesh Ambani firm had quoted USD 2.34 per mmBtu as price for gas to be supplied to NTPC’s Kawas and Gandhar plants, RIL Executive Director P M S Prasad wrote to Power Secretary H S Brahma last month.
Prasad also contended that NTPC’s reluctance to sign an agreement to buy gas from it could mean a loss of Rs15,000 crore to the corporation on buying imported LNG.
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First Published: Fri, Sep 04 2009. 04 48 PM IST