Power Min pegs generation loss at four billion units
Source BS: The country’s power scenario will continue to worsen further as the shortage of coal persists. The power ministry has estimated that the country has lost four billion units (bu) of power generation between April and September this financial year due to a severe dip in coal supply from Coal India and its arms. The coal shortage would continue to cripple the generation as there has been a -1.2 per cent growth in coal production this month, compared to the what Coal India and its arms registered last year.
A power ministry official said on Tuesday Coal India and its associates were expected to produce 347 million tonnes (mt) of coal in 2011-12, but it might achieve only 310 mt. “Besides, Coal India is not loading enough rakes. Instead of 160 rakes, it is loading about 140 rakes leading to reduction in coal supply to power plants,” he told Business Standard.
Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said his ministry had been in constant touch with the coal ministry on the issue. “My ministry has been repeatedly pursuing power supply issue with the Prime Minister, the Planning Commission, the empowered group of ministers and the coal ministry. However, there has not been much needed relief in the power supply,” he said.
Shinde informed that he has convened for tomorrow a meeting with the the power minister in his native Maharashtra. That is meant to review the situation as the western Indian state was reeling under acute power crisis. Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MahaVitaran) has to restart load-shedding due to a rising mismatch between demand and supply following the coal shortage.
The ministry official said the coal ministry had yet to sign the fuel supply agreement for the 25,000 Mw capacity power plants that came up in 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11. PowerGrid Corporation, which is a central transmission utility, has sent out advisory to power utilities not to resort to overdrawal of power from the grid and strictly adhere to grid discipline to avoid grid collapse.
PowerGrid Corporation has also asked utilities to organise coal supply to operate with full capacity, he added.
Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has also convened a meeting to take stock of the power crisis. MahaVitaran has to carry out a daily load shedding of four to six hours in urban areas and upto 14 hours in rural areas due to the power shortage. The Telangana agitation has resulted in sharp decline in power supply to power plants in the state.
In the capital, coal minister Sri Prakash Jaiswal took an “urgent” meeting of ministry officials to take a stock of the current coal supply for power plants in the Northern region. He directed the officials to increase rake availability for coal dispatch from the current 36 rakes every day to 49 rakes soon.
It was decided that Badarpur and Panipat power stations in Haryana would be provided more rakes than their respective contracted quantity of 3 and 5 rakes daily. In Uttar Pradesh, the rake availability will be ramped up for Unchahar and Dadri plants. The minister expected that for the overall power sector, rake availability will increase from the current 107 every day to 145 rakes every day by October 14 this year.