Gas price hike to impact customers hard

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on August 02, 2013

As the impact of the increased price of natural gas on the power sector is not clear, the gas price of $8.40 per million British thermal units is likely to make gas-based power generation very expensive, said Arup Roy Choudhury, Chairman and Managing Director, NTPC.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Choudhury said the increase in gas prices and low availability of natural gas in the country has scuttled the company’s plans of putting up 4,000 MW of new gas-based power plants. Till 2017, all such plans are on hold, he said.

The recent natural gas price hike by the Petroleum Ministry has been deeply resented by the power and the fertiliser sectors. The new price will be implemented next fiscal.

This will not impact NTPC’s balance sheet as the revised cost of fuel would be added to the power bill of customers, he added. So, it is the customers who have been buying power from NTPC’s gas-based power plants who will suffer, the chairman said.

Coal mining

NTPC is the country’s largest power producer, with a capacity of 41,184 MW. It supplies power to almost all power distribution companies. Any hike in NTPC’s rates is set to impact these companies and the consumers, who will end up paying higher tariffs.

Choudhury added that the company has a capacity of 4,000 MW, but is operating at below 50 per cent capacity because of the short supply of gas. He said NTPC has got into coal mining operations given the shortage of coal. The Pakri-Barwadih coal mining project in the Barkagaon block in Jharkhand will soon start producing coal for the company, he added.

In the next six years the company hopes to mine about 100 million tonnes of coal, he said.

Published on August 02, 2013
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