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Cost overruns plague Dabhol project

Special Correspondent

GUHAGAR (RATNAGIRI dist.): The estimated cost of reviving the Dabhol power project by Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private Limited (RGPPL) has now shot up to Rs.12,370 crore from the original Rs.10,000-odd crore. At this amount, this could well be the costliest power project in the country.

However, Chandan Roy, chairperson of RGGPL, told the media on Thursday after a visit to the project site at Dabhol creek in Ratnagiri district, that the plant would attain its maximum capacity of 2,150 MW by January next, subject to the availability of gas and pricing approval, a contentious issue which is now in court.

Review meeting

Maharashtra Power Minister Dilip Walse Patil on Thursday held a review of the project with senior officials from the State power utilities and RGPPL.

Mr. Walse Patil was confident that the project would deliver by next year. He said that the members of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGOM) headed by Pranab Mukherjee would visit the plant soon.

The project which was using naphtha when it was revived last April, has now switched to LNG and is generating 470 MW. Of the three blocks in the plant, block two is the one that is generating power and will be fully operational and produce 700 MW by September end, while block three will be functional by October.The combined cycle plant needs an additional Rs.1,957 crore for a complete revival. Mr. Roy said that the original estimate was Rs. 870 crore which National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) had contested at the outset.

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