Cement and Energy

.. CEMENT and ENERGY A QUARTERLY NEWS LETTER ;- Vol. I No. 2 April 1997 NINTH PLAN - A NEW APPROACH TO POWER SECTOR AND ENERGY PRICING T he Ninth Plan envisages replacement of the administered pricing mechanism for petroleum products and coal by a more rational system reflecting the cost of supply. The Plan, inter alia, seeks to evolve appropriate regulatory mechanism. encourage private sector participation in transmission and distribution of power. offer incentives to investors in the hydro power sector. The Planning commission ·has suggested that importing natural gas at competitive rates, particularly in the form of I iquified natural gas to the coastal regions, should be explored. But there is no alternative to importing hydro carbon and coal for the power sector as any reduction in it will lead to the domestic availabil ity falling short of requirement. The share of oil in total imports will go up from the current level of 55 percent to 65-70 percent by the year 200 l-02, the plan panel has said. Exploration efforts will be accelerated particularly in offshore areas. The possibility of Indian oil companies acquiring oil– producing acreage in other countries will be explored, besides paying special attention to reservoir management and enhancing oil recovery. On the coal front, domestic availability is expected to be in the region of350 million tonnes by the end ofthe ninth plan (2001-02) while the demand will go up to 450 million tonnes. The ninth plan wi ll encourage beneficiation of non-coking coal and use of improved coal util isation technologies in view of the high ash content in domestic coal.