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Enron Project Likely To Revive, Centre Keen

Serious efforts are underway to revise the controversial power generation gas-based project at Dabhol in Ratnagiri district. The Shinde-Fadnavis government in Maharashtra has received positive signals to rejuvenate the project, popularly known as Enron. Presently, there is complete closure of the project since 31 March this year. Union power minister RK Singh recently held a meeting at which the power generation from the project was reportedly discussed.  The project was launched by the government of then chief minister Sharad Pawar in 1993-95 with a counter-guarantee by the Government of India. After the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance assumed power in the state in 1995, it scrapped the project then revived it under revised conditionalities. The public sector NTPC is the principal shareholder in Enron. However, the project never fully recovered despite Centre’s efforts since gas supply to it was not adequate. It is now argued that if gas is made available at reasonable rates, power generation can become feasible at cheaper cost. The last per unit cost from the project was Rs.6.50 and the sole consumer was the railways. The railways started purchasing 500 MW of power from this plant on the basis of a subsidy from the Centre from 1 April 2007. The quota dwindled down to about 250 MW due to various reasons. The five-year agreement expired on 31 March this year, finally shutting down the operations.