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Running Out Of Gas

Lack of gas supplies crippling India plants; affecting nearly 4000 MW

Posted on March 15, 2013

Just as India continues to chase ambitious targets for additional power generation capacity to match its anticipated economic growth, six generation plants in Andhra Pradesh, India, have shut down operations due to insufficient gas supply.

The already-fragile power supply in the state has now become critical with about 2000 MW going offline from the beginning of this month as gas supplies from the Krishna-Godavari D6 basin have ceased.

The gas-fired plants had been receiving about 6.43 million m3/dy, which already left a deficit of about 7.22 million on a total requirement of 13.65 million m3/dy. The short supply has already idled 1600 MW of production and about 2000 MW of new capacity is awaiting gas allocations.

Industry sources say that water and sand ingress into the wells has significantly reduced gas production. Another factor is that the power sector has stood second in line to the fertilizer sector when it comes to gas allocations. There does not appear to be much hope among power sector players of any quick resolution of the problem.

Some power units of Lanco and GVK continue to operate on much-reduced load factors as they obtain gas supplies from ONGC and GAIL India. The crisis could ease when the crop panting season ends in mid-April. Alternative sources of LNG are being sought.

Despite the government announcing three-hour power shutdowns for domestic consumers, rural areas have experienced 12- to 18-hour daily power shutdowns.