Dabhol finally obtains natural gas from GAIL for power generation

New Delhi: PSU gas firm GAIL (India) has started piped gas deliveries to the Dabhol power plant in Maharashtra. With this the troubled unit can switch from expensive naphtha to the cheaper green fuel.

However the plant will be able to begin generating electricity only by next weekend as the system gradually shifts from liquid fuel to gas.

This is the first time the Dabhol plant has received gas supplies since beginning operations in May 1999.

GAIL transported gas through the 577-km pipeline from Dahej in Gujarat where Petronet LNG receives 1.25 million tons of natural gas in liquefied form (LNG) from Qatar.

Officials said GAIL''s Dahej-Uran-Dabhol pipeline was a landmark as it was completed in a record eight months despite several obstacles, notably opposition from farmers in Maharashtra and Gujarat, difficult terrain and bad weather.

Ratnagiri Gas and Power, the new owner of the Dabhol project, previously commissioned and owned by bankrupt US energy major Enron, will by month-end start generating about 1,400 MW of electricity from gas and will scale up to peak capacity of 2,184 MW by the year-end when a third unit is commissioned.