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The government will again seek the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for early restoration of generation at the 1,967-Mw power project, now known as Ratnagiri project, in the state.

The project has been closed since July 15 for want of gas.

Ratnagiri Gas & Power Pvt Ltd (RGPPL), which operates the power project that also has an LNG terminal, has yet to get a communication from the Centre for the allocation of gas to restart generation. The government plans to strongly oppose any move to hand over the power project to the private sector or rent it out to operators.

A state government official told Business Standard: “Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had already sent a letter seeking the prime minister’s help in July-August. However, there is no formal announcement from the Centre on the restoration of power generation. As of now, the asset is simply lying idle. What the chief minister will again seek is an adequate affordable gas whereby the power tariff will be in the range of Rs 3.80 to Rs 4.40 a unit.”

The official said the state government as well as MahaVitaran, which procures 95 per cent of the power from the project, are strongly opposed to the drawing of gas from the spot market at $15-16 per million British thermal unit by RGPPL. This will eventually lead to per unit tariff to Rs 5 to Rs 5.50 and MahaVitaran is not in a position to bear the additional financial burden.

RGPL spokesman said the company has been making repeated efforts with the Centre for an early restoration of gas. RGPPL needs 8.5 million standard cubic metre per day (mmscmd) of gas to achieve 1,967 Mw of generation.

RGPPL needs a total of 8.5 million standard cubic metre per day (mmscmd) of gas to achieve 1,967 Mw of generation. Of the 8.5 mmscmd, nearly 7.6 mmscmd is linked to KG D6 gas while 0.9 mmscmd is from Oil & Natural Gas Corporation through GAIL India.

An RGPPL spokesman said the company has been making repeated efforts with the Centre for an early restoration of gas. “'The company chairman Prabhat Singh recently met Chavan and also sought his cooperation to take up the issue of restoration of gas with the Centre. Besides, we have also appealed to Chavan for an early payment of dues close to Rs 500 crore by MahaVitaran to RGPPL towards power purchase.”

Further, the RGPPL spokesman said that it was finding it difficult to repay the monthly instalment towards debt servicing to the project lenders. RGPPL has a total debt of Rs 9,000 crore from ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, SBI and Canara Bank and since its restart in April 2006, it has so far repaid Rs 4,000 crore plus. The company's annual outgo towards debt servicing is Rs 1,300 crore.

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