New Delhi: Moving to protect National Thermal Power Limited’s (NTPC) interest on sourcing gas from Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), the government will this week file an application in the Supreme Court stating that its decisions on pricing of the fuel are without prejudice to the Public Sector Undertaking’s case against the Mukesh Ambani firm.
A ministerial panel headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today decided to clarify before the apex court that the $4.20 per mmBtu price fixed for RIL’s KG-D6 gas was without prejudice to the state-run firm’s case seeking the fuel from RIL at $2.34 per mmBtu price committed in 2004.
A source said the interlocutory application would clarify that NTPC’s case against RIL was different from the dispute between the Mukesh Ambani-run firm and Reliance Natural Resources Limited (RNRL) run by his brother Anil Ambani as its price was based on arms-length global bid. On the other hand, RNRL’s claim over KG-D6 gas was based on a private family agreement.
The application would also say that RIL cannot take refuge behind the government stand that it alone had the right to approve gas pricing to deny NTPC gas, as the $4.20 per mmBtu price would apply to all power plants of the state-firm barring Kawas and Gandhar expansion projects for which RIL had committed $2.34 per mmBtu.
NTPC, the source said, will not file any petition to become a party to the RIL versus Anil Ambani Group firm RNRL court case in the Supreme Court but was free to appeal in the apex court on any aspect of its case against RIL in the Bombay High Court.