New Delhi, Aug 4 IANS | 3 months ago

About 18,800 MW of gas-based power generating capacity in the country is either completely stranded without availability of gas, or operating below capacity.

This capacity is already commissioned and pipeline connected, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said Monday in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

"No decision has yet been taken about extending any subsidy to distribution companies or providing a financial restructuring package to such projects," Goyal said.

The power ministry has been mulling financial restructuring for the power plants which are stranded for lack of natural gas, as well as subsidy for state discoms to compensate them for any eventual rise in domestic gas price.

India has a power generation capacity of 233,930 MW, of which nearly 19,000 MW is fuelled by gas.

The power ministry maintains that a steep increase in gas price would make generation unviable as compared to other fuel sources such as coal.

In this connection, the petroleum ministry is considering a new price for domestic gas that would be lower than the $8.4 per unit reached by the formula suggested by the C. Rangarajan panel constituted by the earlier UPA government.

A ministry source told IANS that it has sent a proposal for a new committee on gas pricing for approval to the Prime Minister's Office, that would elaborate an alternative formula to that recommended by the C. Rangarajan panel.

The source said the new panel would be asked to take into consideration the concerns of the power and fertilizer ministries about the impact of any steep hike in natural gas price.

(Posted on 05-08-2014)

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