Lenders to the 1,967-Mw Dabhol power project in Maharashtra are seriously concerned over the suspension of generation since Thursday and the uncertainty over its functioning for want of fuel.
ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, State Bank of India and Canara Bank collectively hold 18.12 per cent equity in Ratnagiri Gas & Power Pvt Ltd (RGPPL), which operates the plant. Another 32.74 per cent each is with NTPC and GAIL. The remaining 16.94 per cent is with the MSEB Holding Company, arm of the state power generation company.
RGPPL’s generation loss was 3,095 million units, following average gas supply of 6.3 million standard cubic metres a day (mscmd) during 2011-12.
The generation loss during 2012-13 till date has surged to a record 7,578 million units, as average gas supply dipped to 3.3 mscmd. Currently, RGPPL supplies almost its entire generation to MahaVitaran, the state government’s transmission company, at Rs 4.80 a unit.
A senior IDBI Bank official told Business Standard: “The problems of gas supply, leading to stoppage of power generation, is indeed a matter of concern. Many such projects are facing either shortage of gas or coal.”
The Dabhol plant has a regasification unit in the neighbourhood, which can import gas for the operations. However, the price of such imported gas will be high. So, the issue is who will pay for a higher price.
During 2012-13, the company expects a plant load factor of around 30 per cent, with around 40 per cent annual fixed cost recovery. During 2013-14, it would be around 14 per cent, with around 19 per cent annual fixed cost recovery by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission norms.
A RGPPL official said that it was unlikely to meet its equity and debt servicing obligations from the annual revenue, after meeting its operating expenses.
RGPPL has petitioned the state power regulator, as already reported, for a rise in what it is paid for supply. It has also suggested using regasified liquefied natural gas, but this has been opposed by MahaVitaran, saying the cost would be unaffordable.