Power firms left with just seven days’ coal

Hindustan Times (Patna) - - FRONT PAGE - Anu­pama Airy anu­pama.airy@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: In what could spell a se­ri­ous trou­ble for the power gen­er­a­tion in the coming months, more than half of In­dia’s power plants are fac­ing short­age in coal with less than seven days of stocks.

The min­istry of power, said in a let­ter to the coal min­istry , that 52 out of the 90 power sta­tions in the coun­try “con­tinue to be in a crit­i­cal stock state and hence need spe­cial at­ten­tion”.

“Let­ters have been writ­ten to Coal In­dia Ltd and the coal min­istry with­out sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment,” power sec­re­tary P Umashankar told coal sec­re­tary.

Ac­cord­ing to the let­ter, the poor sup­plies were due to lack of proper evac­u­a­tion and trans­port ar­range­ments by sub­sidiaries of CIL, es­pe­cially the Ma­hanadi Coal­fields Ltd (MCL), West­ern Coal­fields Ltd (WCL) and East­ern Coal­fields Ltd (ECL) be­sides stop­page of min­ing works at var­i­ous coal­fields.

“Poor ma­te­ri­al­i­sa­tion (coal sup­plies) from MCL, that had a ma­te­ri­al­i­sa­tion of merely 74% in the April-Oc­to­ber pe­riod, is af­fect­ing at least 20 out of the 52 crit­i­cal power sta­tions in Ma­ha­rash­tra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu,” he said.

“All the four power sta­tions in Tamil Nadu are crit­i­cal or su­per crit­i­cal with En­nore and North Chen­nai hav­ing stocks for just three days.”

Out of 10 power sta­tions in Ma­ha­rash­tra, as many as nine are su­per crit­i­cal. The prob­lem of six power sta­tions of Andhra Pradesh is also sim­i­lar and three out of six are su­per crit­i­cal.

Five out of 14 plants in West Ben­gal are also su­per crit­i­cal in terms of coal stocks on ac­count of poor sup­plies from ECL and MCL. Power sta­tions in UP are also hav­ing crit­i­cal stocks, the let­ter said.

The power min­istry said that mines sit­u­ated in Ma­ha­rash­tra are also hav­ing a ma­te­ri­al­i­sa­tion of merely 9%.

Dark days loom

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