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Friday, Nov 03, 2006

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Dabhol power plant restarts

Our Bureau

New Delhi, Nov 2

The Dabhol power project has been re-started after a gap of nearly four months, the Power Minister Mr Sushilkumar Shinde said on Thursday.

"The Dabhol project was re-started yesterday. It is generating about 150 mw at present, but this will go up slowly," he told reporters on the sidelines of a conference.

The plant is being run on naphtha, he said, adding that the Government had already reduced customs duty on the fuel.

Mr Shinde, however, said there were no plans to sell the Dabhol project.

"There are no such plans. Why should we sell it?" he said, when asked about reports that the Government wanted to sell the project to any company that could run the plant.

The plant was initially started in May this year to meet the shortage in Maharashtra but was shut down in early July after the onset of the monsoon.

The 740-mw Block-II of the project is being run on imported naptha, as the new promoters — GAIL and NTPC Ltd — have not been able to tie-up natural gas. With naptha, the cost of generation is likely to be more than Rs 5 per unit.

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