NTPC weighing alternatives for fuel security

National Termal Power Corporation Ltd is planning to enter the liquefied natural gas fuel chain to mitigate fuel risks, by leveraging the upcoming Dabhol LNG terminal, owned by Ratnagiri Gas and Power, in which it holds a 28.5-per cent stake, to drive the inititative.

The country's largest power generator is also in the process of establishing a dedicated coal import cell to obviate coordinating imports through external agencies such as MMTC Ltd for importing coal.

According to chairman and managing director, R S Sharma, besides plans for commencement of production from fiscal 2011-12, from domestic coal blocks allotted it, the state-owned company is also nearing a coal block deal in Mozambique or Indonesia as a strategic move to boost fuel security.

''We are looking to having in place long-term contracts and have set up a dedicated import cell within NTPC to avoid such problems (delays in a recent MMTC tender). We will be importing coal directly from the next financial year,'' Sharma said.

Sharma added that for NTPC fuel security was the key. He said that NTPC planned to get into the gas value chain and would take its plans further once the Ratnagiri (erstwhile Dabhol) terminal came on stream.

''We are looking at Nigeria for a gas deal and are also looking at West Asia,'' he said.