NOT ENOUGH COAL

Business Today - - THE BUZZ - -Anilesh S. Ma­ha­jan

Abat­tle royal is brew­ing be­tween Coal In­dia ( CIL) and power plants over fail­ure to main­tain coal stock­piles. On Oc­to­ber 22, coal stored at 26 of the 100 op­er­a­tional ther­mal power plants was in­suff icient for seven days worth of gen­er­a­tion. This is de­spite a Cen­tral Elec­tric­ity Author­ity guide­line that power plants need to main­tain 22 days of coal in­ven­tory. Union Coal Sec­re­tary, Susheel Ku­mar as­serts there is no short­age and power plants are in­ten­tion­ally not main­tain­ing stock­piles. CIL off icials add that fuel is avail­able but power plants are not lift­ing it. Power plants are keep­ing in­ven­to­ries low since elec­tric­ity de­mand has re­duced. The sit­u­a­tion be­came com­pli­cated re­cently when gen­er­a­tion from other sources such as nu­clear ( 36 per cent), wind ( 14 per cent) and hy­dro ( 12 per cent) fell. That meant more ther­mal power was needed and the de­mand for coal rose by 20 mil­lion tonnes in the months of Au­gust and Septem­ber. Now that there are dif­fer­ent min­is­ters for power and min­ing, the blame game has be­gun.

MIL­LION tonnes, coal spike in de­mand Aug- 20

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