NTPC not to relent on gas price; to seek Power Ministry's help

"NTPC will continue with its stand on price of USD 2.34 per mmBtu (as committed by Mukesh Ambani-led RIL) and will take support from (the) Ministry of Power," a top company official told PTI on condition of anonymity.

Petroleum Minister Murli Deora had told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday that RIL had not sought approval for the USD 2.34 per million metric British thermal unit (mmBtu) price quoted by it in NTPC's 2004 tender.

"Since, no approval had been sought by RIL as required under the Production Sharing Contract, the USD 4.20 per mmBtu price approved in 2007 will be applicable," he had said.

However, the Petroleum Ministry yesterday clarified its stand saying it had not made up its mind regarding the price at which gas from Reliance Industries should be supplied at.

"It was not the intention of the Petroleum Minister to make a final statement on the issue, since the matter is subjudice," said S Sunderasan, Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

NTPC had slapped a case against RIL three years ago for getting 12 million standard cubic metre of gas a day for its proposed power projects at a price of USD 2.34 mmBtu.

Recently, RIL got the Bombay High Court's approval for amending its petition in this case, saying that the quoted price of USD 2.34 mmBtu would be frustrated in the absence of government's approval.

Sunderasan said the reports that gas to NTPC will have to be supplied at USD 4.2 per mmBtu and not at RIL's 2004 bid price of USD 2.34 had taken the minister's statement out of context.

"The government or the minister had no intention of making a final statement on the supply of gas.

"In the course of discussion on calling attention notice in the Rajya Sabha yesterday, Deora replied to a variety of issues raised by the members. He stated that the NTPC matter is sub judice and he cannot be quoted out of context," Sunderasan said.

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