Coordinated effort among ministries shows the path to tide over the temporary crisis of coal shortage and occasional high prices in the Power Exchange
Press reports have highlighted the issue of the rise in price of power on the Power Exchange on 16th October 2017 to Rs 10.8 per unit. Power Prices on IEX on 17th October 2017 on an average for the day was Rs. 5.45 per unit, and maximum prices were Rs 10.80 only for half an hour from 6.30 PM to 7.00 PM. The prices on 18th Oct 2017 has dropped to average for the day of Rs 4.33 per unit.
It also needs to be noted that the volume of power being traded in the market is to the tune of about 150 Million Units (MU) per day against the total generation of around 3750 MU per day(which is around 4%). Discoms are largely meeting their demand through long term / Medium term contracts and the impact of the current spike in the exchange price is marginal.
The total installed generation capacity is around 330GW, out of which the coal based power stations in the country is 193GW which is sufficient to meet the maximum peak demand of 163GW occurred during the current year. At present the maximum peak demand during October 17 is around 160 GW which is around 10 GW higher than the same period last year. The overall growth in generation has been around 6% and the growth of generation from coal based stations was 17% in August 2017 in comparison to the same period last year. Coal based generation continues to see a rise in September and October 2017.
The issue of coal supply to power plants is being addressed in a co-coordinated manner by the three concerned Ministries i.e Ministry of Power, Ministry of Coal and Ministry of Railways. This is being monitored at the highest level and Minister of State for Power reviewed it on yesterday with the three Ministries and coal companies. A detailed plan has been agreed which would be implemented from today (18.10.17) and would ensure sufficient supply of coal to power plants.
Shri R K Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power and Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Coal jointly reviewed the status on today (18.10.17) and also spoke to concerned States which have requested for enhanced supply of coal. They also noted that supply to States like Maharashtra, has improved and efforts will be made to improve the coal stock in all the power stations with low stocks. It was also agreed that issues with some DVC power plants which are affected due to closure of Dhanbad – Chandrapura railway line would be resolved expeditiously. Inspite of the unprecedented rise in the demand for coal based power, due to better coordinated planning on daily, weekly and monthly basis and it’s implementation by all the stakeholders, the demand of electricity in the grid is being met and all efforts would be made to ensure availability of adequate power in future also.