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Centre open to privatisation of Dabhol power project: Piyush Goyal

Union power minister plans to float tenders for 5 UMPPs during current calendar year

BS Reporter  |  Mumbai 

Piyush Goel
Piyush Goel

The Centre is open to all options, including privatisation of the now-defunct 1,967-Mw Dabhol power project operated by the Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private Ltd (RGPPL) in Maharashtra, said Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal here on Thursday.

The minister said he would convene a meeting in the next 10 days with lenders to the troubled project, the officials of Maharashtra government and its undertaking Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MahaVitaran) to discuss the issues pertaining to the arrears of Rs 2,000 crore. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss how the project could be revived.

Goyal’s statement comes in the wake of RGPPL board giving its approval last month for the conversion of debt into equity equivalent to interest dues of Rs 405 crore. This has led to increase in RGPPL's equity to Rs 3,370 crore from Rs 2,965 crore.

As far as the availability of 8.5 million standard cubic metre per day of gas supply from KG D6 for the project to run at 85 per cent plant load factor, Goyal said the Centre was working out a slew of measures so that gas was supplied not only to the power project but other gas-based projects across the country too.

Goyal also said the Centre was planning to float tenders for five ultra mega power projects (UMPPs) with 4,000 Mw each during the current calendar year. “An expert committee will submit a report within a month on how to go about on the implementation of UMPPs in the country,” he added.

According to the minister, the Centre has proposed an investment of $250 billion in generation, transmission, distribution, renewable energy and coal production in a bid to achieve 24x7 power supply.

He said funding was not an issue, adding that there had been a renewed confidence after Narendra Modi took over as Prime Minister. Moreover, Goyal said the Coal India would invest Rs 5,000 crore for the development of additional rail rakes in Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

On CIL's disinvestment, Goyal said it has been approved by the union cabinet and is currently with the union ministry of disinvestment. "The disinvestment will be carried out at an appropriate time," he noted.

First Published: Fri, January 16 2015. 00:27 IST