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Friday, February 09, 2001

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PPN project in TN gets gas allocation for 150 MW

N. Ramakrishnan

CHENNAI, Feb. 8

PPN Power Generating Co Ltd, which is putting up a 330 MW combined cycle gas turbine power plant at Pillaiperumalnallur in Tamil Nadu, has got gas allocation for about 150 MW. The plant is designed to run on both naphtha and gas. For the remaining capaci ty, the company will use naphtha as originally envisaged.

According to sources, GAIL has allotted 0.75 MMSCD of gas from its Kuttalam gas field, which is about 30 km from the Pillaiperumalnallur plant site. Survey work for laying a pipeline to transport the gas has been completed.

The gas is expected to be available for PPN in about six months when the pipeline will be in place. Switching over a part of the capacity to gas is expected to substantially bring down the tariff that the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) will have to pay the company, according to sources.

The sources said that with naphtha prices ruling around $190 a tonne, the first month tariff at 85 per cent plant load factor was expected to be about Rs 3.80 per unit. With 150 MW operating on gas, the tariff would get reduced by at least 70 paise a uni t, the sources said. The gas would be priced at Rs 3,263 per 1000 cu.m. and the cost of the pipeline would have to be added to this.

The company plans to carry out modifications to the turbines to operate them fully on gas. At present, the turbines are designed to operate to a maximum of 70 per cent gas and the balance on naphtha. Switching over to gas as the only fuel will require mi nor modifications, which is expected to be completed in about six months. Using gas as fuel for 100 per cent of the capacity will not only help in bringing down the tariff, but also make operating and maintaining the plant easier, according to the source s.

The plant is expected to begin commercial operation by March 31. This is one of the MoU-based projects in Tamil Nadu and the first independent power producer in the State to achieve financial closure. It has got escrow cover from the TNEB. The plant will feed 2460 million units into the TNEB grid.

The equity holders in the project are Apollo Infrastructure Projects Finance Co Ltd 28 per cent, PSEG 20 per cent, Marubeni Corporation 26 per cent and El Paso Energy 26 per cent. PSEG is the O & M contractor and Marubeni the EPC contractor.

PPN held discussions with the PY-1 consortium for supply of gas to the project. The PY-1 consortium is quoting a price of $3.20 per MMBTU, which has to be approved by the TNEB.

Related links:
TNEB seeks Ministry's help to fix gas prices for power schemes

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