Power projects worth ` 36,000 cr stranded due to coal short­ages

The Political and Business Daily - - BUSINESS -

POWER projects worth over Rs 36,000 crore and hav­ing to­tal gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity of 7,230 MW are stranded due to short­age of coal, the govern­ment said to­day.

Ef­forts are be­ing made for sup­ply­ing ad­e­quate coal to power projects, the govern­ment also said.

"As far as coal-based ther­mal power plants are con­cerned, a ca­pac­ity of 7,230 MW is al­ready com­mis­sioned but hav­ing no coal sup­ply.

"Con­sid­er­ing an in­dica­tive cost of Rs 5 crore per MW, an in­vest­ment of about Rs 36,150 crore has been made in the ex­e­cu­tion of these projects," Min­is­ter of State for Pow­erPiyush Goyal said in the Lok Sabha.

The 7,230 MW ca­pac­ity spread across 12 projects.

In a writ­ten re­ply, Goyal, who also holds the port­fo­lios of Coal as well as New and Re­new­able

is En­ergy, said gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity of 42,480 MW com­mis­sioned af­ter 2009 is presently en­ti­tled to only 65% of their Let­ter of As­sur­ance (LoA) com­mit­ment.

With re­gard to gas-based ca­pac­ity, about 5,349 MW is ready for com­mis­sion­ing and is await­ing gas al­lo­ca­tion.

"An in­stalled and com­mis­sioned ca­pac­ity of 24,149 MW is run­ning at a very low av­er­age of 23% PLF (Plant Load Fac­tor)," the Min­is­ter said.

To ad­dress the is­sue of coal short­ages, the Power Min­istry has ini­ti­ated cer­tain steps in­clud­ing is­suance of ad­vi­sory to im­port the fuel.

As per the ad­vi­sory, the cost of im­ported coal would be made a pass through on case to case ba­sis by reg­u­la­tors to the ex­tent of short­fall in the quan­tity in­di­cated in the LoA or Fuel Sup­ply Agree­ment (FSA).

In a sep­a­rate re­ply, Goyal said the govern­ment is "mak­ing ef­forts to make ad­e­quate fuel avail­able for power gen­er­a­tion through coal com­pa­nies".

To another

query,

Goyal ad­mit­ted that gas-based power plants have been gen­er­at­ing only 50% of their in­stalled ca­pac­ity dur­ing the last few years.

"The main rea­sons for low gen­er­a­tion is in­suf­fi­cient gas avail­abil­ity from Kr­ishna Go­davari Dhirub­hai-6 ( KG D-6) basin.

"Gas-based gen­er­at­ing sta­tion can also run on Re­gasi­fied Liq­ue­fied Nat­u­ral Gas (RLNG). How­ever, the im­ported cost of RLNG would ren­der the fi­nal cost of power gen­er­ated so high that it will be dif­fi­cult to sched­ule the same for sale," the Min­is­ter said.

To in­crease gas avail­abil­ity for power plants, the Min­istry of Pe­tro­leum and Nat­u­ral Gas has taken var­i­ous steps.

The steps in­clude is­su­ing guide­lines on "club­bing/ di­ver­sion of gas be­tween power plants of same owner with the in­tent to serve the largest pub­lic in­ter­est so that the avail­able gas can be used more ef­fi­ciently in order to im­prove the PLF with cor­re­spond­ing in­crease in elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion".

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