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Since 1st March, 1999
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May 16 date for gas plant closure

Silchar, May 8: Eastern India Powertech Limited (EIPL), a subsidiary of DLF Universal Limited, has announced closure of all operations at its gas-based thermal power unit at Banskandi in Cachar district from May 16.

A notice put up last afternoon told workers at EPILís office in Banskandi, 10km east of here, that the plant was being shut down from May 16 because of a dearth of gas to keeping it running.

DLFís two gas-based thermal power plants in Barak Valley ó a 9MW unit at Adamtilla in Karimganj district and a 15.5MW unit at Banskandi in Cachar district ó were commissioned in 1995 and the Assam Gas Company Limited (AGCL) supplied natural gas to the plants by purchasing it from the ONGC.

The Adamtilla unit, which relied on the ONGC gas well in the area, started facing problems soon after commissioning because of short supply of natural gas. It had to be closed down in 2010 after the ONGC gas well totally stopped production. The Banskandi unit, too, has been suffering from short supply of natural gas, resulting in decreasing production of power.

EPIL sources, however, said today uninterrupted production was not possible at the Banskandi unit, though a little amount of gas was still available to continue power production, because the company was embroiled in a dispute with AGCL over payment of supplied gas.

AGCL had recently alleged that EPIL had run up arrears to the tune of Rs 30 crore and said unless the amount was cleared, it would be forced to discontinue gas supply to the latter.

The unitís shutdown will leave its 50-odd technical officials and other staff jobless.