The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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NTPC may run Dabhol Power

Mumbai, Sept. 19: The Centre is prepared to persuade the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to run and complete if necessary, the power plant of Dabhol Power Company (DPC) solely on commercial considerations, according to Union power secretary R.V. Shahi.

The bureaucrat, who was here to participate in a seminar organised by the Independent Power Producers Association of India (IPPAI), said “the ministry will prevail upon and persuade NTPC to run DPC unit’s 658 mw phase one on a management fee or on purely commercial basis.”

“It could also complete the remaining construction of the idle facility, but the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI)-led lenders will have to bear the cost,” he said.

Shahi added that to restart the project, the Centre also plans to seek cooperation from GE and Bechtel, the project’s original contractors.

The Union power secretary also noted that the crucial issue of restarting the project could be solved only if the Maharashtra government, the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) and IDBI led bankers arrive at a consensus over the purchase price and file a joint petition before the state regulatory commission (MERC).

Here he was categorical in pointing out that both the state and the local electricity board should proceed with more seriousness and that the Centre has been trying to “impress upon them that one has to first arrive at a starting point of a settlement, wherein everybody foregoes their previous stand and comes together to file a joint petition for an acceptable DPC tariff with MERC,” he noted.

“MSEB and Maharashtra government should recognise that price of naphtha, after sales tax, excise or customs duties concessions, comes to around Rs 2.25 paise...So how can they arrive at a tariff which is same as the cost of the fuel... Seriousness of the proposal has to be there,” he said.

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