Coal shortages at thermal plants indicate looming power crisis: AIPEF


Thermal plants across the country are grappling with coal shortages, indicating a looming power crisis in the country, said All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF).

“Thermal plants across the country are grappling with a coal shortage as the power demand in the States has increased, and a number of States are not able to bridge the gap between demand and supply because of insufficient coal stocks at thermal plants,” AIPEF spokesperson V.K. Gupta said in a statement.

Mr. Gupta stated that coal shortages indicate a power crisis in the making.

As per Central Electricity Authority’s (CEA) latest daily coal report, the coal stock at 81 out of a total of 150 thermal power stations using domestic coal is critical as per guidelines, the statement said.

The condition of the private sector thermal plants is equally bad as the coal stock of 28 out of 54 plants is in a critical stage, it pointed out.

According to the statement, in the northern region, the worst suffering states are Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

All the seven thermal plants with a capacity of 7,580 MW in the Rajasthan State sector have critical coal stock. In Uttar Pradesh, 3 out of 4 State sector thermal plants with a capacity of 6,129 MW with exception of Anapara thermal are having critical coal stock.

In Punjab, the coal stock at Rajpura thermal is for 17 days, 4 days for Talwandi Sabo thermal and nil stock at GVK thermal. At Ropar thermal and Lehra Mohabbat thermal plant, the stocks are sufficient for 9 and 6 days only, as per the statement.

In Haryana, Yamuna Nagar thermal has a stock of 8 days, and Panipat thermal of 7 days. At Khedar thermal, where the only unit is available for generation, the coal stock is for 22 days, it said.

In the northern region, there is an evening peak shortage of 2,400 MW, comprising 1,200 MW from Uttar Pradesh, and 600 MW from Haryana. Maharashtra has six out of seven thermal plants with critical coal stock and Andhra Pradesh has all three thermal plants having critical coal stock, the statement said.

The Union Power Ministry has recommended the import of coal for blending up to 10% to ensure adequate stock when the power demand is at its peak in the next few months, it added.

The present landed cost of imported Indonesian coal is about $200. The expensive imported coal would increase costs for utilities, it pointed out.

Further, the number of trains committed by the Indian Railways per day is 415, against 453 required by the utilities. Practically this number never exceeds 400. The wagon shortage normally affects thermal stations, which are at far-off places from coal mines, AIPEF said.

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