Govt. to revive of 9 gas-based power plants, to generate 7 billion units

New Delhi : The government has announced the revival of nine stranded gas-based power plants with a total installed capacity of 5,942 MW, which successfully bid electricity at Rs.4.7 per unit for six months beginning April.

The announcement came at the conclusion of reverse e-auction process here on Sunday morning, which lasted for almost two hours. Under the reverse e-auction, bidders quoted negative subsidy or premium of up to three paisa per unit to secure gas supplies.

In the previous two auctions held in May and September last, the bidders had won government subsidy of about Rs 2,750 crore to buy imported gas to revive stranded power plants. The auction process successfully concluded on March 20, wherein nine plants emerged as preferred bidders and were allocated 7.62 million standard cubic meter per day, said a power ministry statement.

“These plants would generate 6.79 billion units, which will be supplied at or below Rs.4.70 per unit to the purchaser discoms for a period April 1 to September 30, 2016,” it said.

“The re-auction resulted in aggressive negative bidding with the lowest bid at Rs.0.03 per unit. As a result there is estimated savings of Rs.18.29 crore to the government’s Power System Development Fund,” it added.

Sunday’s reverse e-auction for stranded gas-based plants SGPs is the third phase of auctions conducted. Auctions for the first and second phases were held last year in May and September, respectively.

A total of 10 mscmd of RLNG will be imported to run SGPs and domestic gas plants (DGPs) between April 1 to September 30.

According to the bid document, while 8.9 mscmd of gas will be imported for SGPs, 1.1 mscmd will be allocated to DGPs. The government is offering Rs.1,400 crore subsidy for SGPs and Rs.200 crore to the DGPs for buying imported gas to run their plants.

It had, in March last, allowed gas imports by way of e-auctions for 31 gas-based power units, with a capacity of 14,000 MW, lying idle for lack of feed stock.

The 31 power stations with a combined capacity of 14,305 MW became eligible to apply for Power System Development Fund (PSDF) to generate 30 percent of their installed capacity using imported LNG. In the first phase of auctions, 10 of the plants bid through reverse e-auction for generating over 5 billion units of electricity to be supplied at below Rs.5 per unit during the peak summer; while in the second phase, 13 plants with an installed capacity of 8,262.08 MW emerged successful bidders.

The Empowered Pool Management Committee, the nodal authority, had decided to scrap the auction for stranded gas-based power projects.

The Management Committee, however, decided to conduct the auction afresh to give equal opportunity to all.

Nine power plants, including that of Dabhol, GMR and Lanco, emerged as successful bidders in the e-auction of natural gas, securing 7.62 mmscmd gas for running a total 5,942 MW capacity. With the secured gas supplies, these plants will generate a total 6.79 billion units during six months to September 2016 and save Rs 18.29 crore in the government subsidy. (ANI)