ONGC and NEEPCO sign term sheet on gas supply

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Agartala, Mar 27 (UNI) The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) has agreed to supply 0.5 million standard cubic metres (MMSCMD) of gas to North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd (NEEPCO) for power generation at Monarchak in West Tripura.

ONGC officials here today said that both the corporations had signed a Term Sheet for gas supply to the power plant from future exploratory efforts of ONGC, as NEEPCO planed to produce 104 MW of power by end 2010.

N K Mitra, Director (Offshore) and Marketing In-charge of ONGC and M R Ghosh, Director (Finance) of NEEPCO had singed the agreement yesterday and there was a 45 day period before a formal contract was signed, officials said.

However, NEEPCO indicated, they were interested in hastening the process much before the due date as the Monarchak project had been halted since 2003. NEEPCO had got approval of 104 MW power project of Rs 450 crore at Monarchak following a fresh Detailed Project Report (DPR) to Central Electricity Authority (CEA) late last year but it was not started because of unavailability of gas.

''The then power minister, Mr Suresh Prabhu in the NDA regime, laid the foundation for the 540 MW project in Monarchak in 2003 but the entire project was held up due to opposition from the Ministry of Finance and cabinet committee in the present UPA government and finally for gas supply,'' said NEEPCO officials.

They, however, assured that NEEPCO gas based power stations were vital for meeting the growing energy demands of Tripura and added that according to the agreement ONGC would supply 0.5 MMSCMD at a price of Rs. 4125 per thousand standard cubic metres and 10 per cent royalty besides, 12.5 percent VAT.

According to the plan, 70 MW will be produced from gas turbine while the remaining 34 MW would be generated from steam turbine and Tripura State Electricity Corporation Ltd would buy all 104 MW.

Upbeat over the signing of gas purchasing agreement with ONGC, NEEPCO would place a report on Monarchak project to Project Investment Board (PIB) within the next one week, the officials said.

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