Power Ministry committed to ensure gas supply
Union Power Minister, Sushilkumar Shinde has said that his Ministry was commited to ensure gas supply to power projects. Listing out several distinct advantages of natural gas over coal, the Minister said that his ministry has been constantly working towards making gas available to power projects. He said that, 18 MMSCMD gas has been allocated for existing and stranded power projects and those projects to be commissioned in 2008-09. Out of this, 7.54 MMSCMD gas was allocated to power projects in Gujarat, totaling 4154 MW.
The Minister has said that in order to bring prosperity to the people, the power sector has to not just keep pace with but exceed the rate of economic growth. This, he said, is possible only if the Central Government, the state governments and the private sector work together towards the same goal.
Speaking after inaugurating the Sujen Mega Power Project of Torrent Power at Surat in Gujarat today, he called upon all stakeholders to renew the pledge to work together to make the power sector the engine of country’s economic growth and development.
Congratulating the Torrent family, the Minister said that the 1147.5MW gas based project signifies the direction the Indian power sector has to take in the near future to overcome the shortage of electricity that threatens to shackle our economic growth. He said that today we face a peaking shortage of electricity of almost 12% and an energy shortage of 9-10%. The existing power deficit and a rising demand coupled with our commitment to provide access to electricity to all has necessitated a large scale capacity addition programme. Therefore, capacity addition of 78,000 MW in the 11th Five Year Plan and approximately 1,00,000 MW in the 12th Five Year Plan is being targeted.
The Minister observed that gas has been made available to power projects on fall back basis following the improved supply of gas. Shinde said that he has also asked the Petroleum & Natural Gas Ministry to allocate another 40 MMSCMD of gas for all existing projects to operate at 90 % PLF. Power Ministry, he said, is prepared to bring another 5000 to 7000 MW gas based capacity during the 11th Plan if we get a further allocation of 35 MMSCMD.
Speaking on the occasion, Bharat Sinh Solanki complimented the project authorities for all possible steps for which the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has approved the Sugen project as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Project thereby enabling it to be eligible for earning carbon credits.