ADA firm blinks; agrees to pay mkt margin to RIL


R-Infra on October 7 wrote to RIL saying it was instructing its "bank to effect full payment of the invoice (raised by RIL for supply of KG-D6 field gas to its Samalkot power plant) including the marketing margin element."

The company, which had paid USD 0.135 per million British thermal unit in marketing cost to RIL for over four months without protest, had on September 15 written to the Mukesh Ambani-firm saying it will no longer pay the "unauthorised and illegal" levy.

R-Infra defaulted on payment of Rs 12 lakh in marketing margin on the 0.56 mmscmd gas supplied to Samalot in the first half of September, leading to RIL sending a notice of suspension of supplies.

"We request you to withdraw the suspension notice dated September 28 and confirm immediate resumption of the supply of gas," R-Infra Vice-President Kamal Kant wrote to RIL.

On the same day, the Anil Ambani Group firm also wrote to ministries of power and petroleum informing of the decision and reiterating its position that the levy was "unauthorised and nothing but abuse of its (RIL's) monopolistic position."

An ADAG group spokesperson did not immediately offer any comments on the issue.

"Please note that by continuing the supply of gas to the extent aforesaid, we should not be deemed to have waived our notice of suspension dated September 22 or any of our right under the GSPA or our letters dated September 22 or accepted the obligation to resume supply of gas at all till the payment default on your part is continuing," Suresh wrote.

RIL earlier this month had written to R-Infra saying its notice for postponement of the planned 35-day maintenance shutdown of its 220-MW Samalkot power plant was not in conformity with the Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement (GSPA).

R-Infra on September 24 informed RIL of postponing the planned maintenance shutdown from September 27 by one day.

RIL said its decision was without prejudice to any of its rights and contentions, its notice of suspension dated September 22 and its rights to "recover full price of gas and the marketing margin for the entire quantity of gas supplied".

R-Infra had in April signed GSPA to buy 0.19 mmscmd of KG-D6 gas at government approved rates. The allocation was raised to 0.56 mmscmd on a 'fall-back' or temporary basis as not all of the initial customers identified for RIL gas were taking their allocated volumes.

The Anil Ambani Group paid marketing margin for the initial 4-5 months of supplies but stopped payments this month.

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