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New Delhi, May 4

The Government is in the advanced stages of negotiations with Qatar for liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies for the Ratnagiri power project, which has commenced operations using expensive naphtha. The Power Minister, Mr Sushil Kumar Shinde, said on Thursday that LNG deliveries from Qatar could begin as early as January 2007.

"The Government is in an advanced stage of talks (with Qatar) on pricing for LNG supplies," Mr Shinde told reporters on the sidelines of a roundtable conference on power sector investments in the `ultra mega power' projects here.

The 740-MW first phase of the Ratnagiri power project in Maharashtra resumed operations from May 1, running on the more expensive naphtha. The Ratnagiri plant was previously known as the Dabhol power project.

Last year, state-owned NTPC Ltd and GAIL (India) Ltd took over the station through a special purpose vehicle called Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private Ltd.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 5, 2006)
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