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Coal supplies decline in country, states seek reserves for uninterrupted power

As on October 3, Central Electricity Authority (CEA) report on coal stocks for power plants showed that 25 power plants had coal stocks for less than seven days for Delhi.

October 09, 2021 / 09:20 PM IST
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Amid reports of severe power crisis due to a sharp decline in coal supplies in several states, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on October 9 asked the coal and railway ministry for 20 coal rakes for Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation (APGencos).

The AP CM also asked for supplies so that revival of non working pithead power plants on emergency basis can take place. Reddy added that there is a deficit of 500MW from central power generating companies. As situation looks grim, even banks may be instructed to provide working capital to discom to tide over coal payment issue.

ALSO READ: Only one day stock of coal left in power station; Delhi might face blackout, says minister Satyendra Jain

Meanwhile, the state government has sought supply of gas available from ONGC and Reliance for 2300 MW gas power plants in AP.

Earlier on Friday, the Jagan Reddy government sent a virtual SOS to the Centre, and requested urgent allotment of coal and revival of defunct coal-fired power plants. Reddy in his letter to PM Narendra Modi said that the power demand in the state rose by 20 percent in a month and 15 percent in the last six months.


Reddy in the letter also added that the situation has become alarming and increasingly difficult to meet the grid demand and the circumstances are pushing the state towards load shedding.

“The power generation stations operated by AP power generation corporation (APGenco), which meet about 45% of state’s energy needs, have coal stocks hardly sufficient for one or two days. The coal-based power plants are operating at less than 50% of their 90 MU/day capacity because of coal shortages. Even the Central Generating Stations have not been able to supply more than 75% of their 40 MU/day capacity,” Reddy said.

"More water is required in the last stage of harvesting and if it is denied, fields would dry up and farmers stand to lose. Unplanned power cuts once resorted to, will lead to chaotic conditions," he added.

Meanwhile, Delhi Power Minister Satyendar Jain on Saturday held a high level review meeting on the possible power crisis due to coal shortage. CM Arvind Kejriwal had even warned of a looming power crisis in the Indian capital of 20 million people due to coal shortages which have already triggered electricity cuts in some eastern and northern states in the past couple of days.

Power discom Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) CEO Ganesh Srinivasan on October 9 has said the national capital may go through intermittent rotational load shedding in coming days due to coal shortage across the nation. Srinivasan added the coal-based power stations supplying electricity to Delhi discoms have coal stocks to meet generation requirements for one-two days against 20 days.

"As a result, Delhi might go through intermittent rotational load shedding. However, proactive steps by both Delhi as well as the central government for handling the grim situation are under consideration to arrange or divert coal for power generation," Srinivasan said.

TPDDL, which supplies power to north and northwest Delhi areas,

also sent an SMS to power consumers, saying, "Due to limited coal availability in generation plants across north, power supply scenario between 2 pm to 6 pm is at critical level. Kindly use electricity judiciously. Be a responsible citizen. Inconvenience caused is regretted."

As on October 3, Central Electricity Authority (CEA) report on coal stocks for power plants showed that 25 such power plants had coal stocks for less than seven days for Delhi. The report also showed that 17 plants -- with a cumulative installed power generation capacity of 21,325 MW -- had zero coal stocks while 20 power plants of 22,550 MW capacity had one day of the dry fuel stocks.

In Punjab and Rajasthan too power cuts have been intermittent. While Punjab has cut power for three to four hours, Rajasthan has said that it will schedule one-hour power cuts. Punjab had shut two units each at Talwandi Sabo power plant, and one unit at the Lehra Mohabbat plant because of coal shortage. In addition to this, two units at Ropar were shut due to technical glitches by the state.

Maharashtra and Karnataka too are facing coal shortage issues. Thermal stations in the two states only have coal reserves for two to three days. Meanwhile Telangana Genco officials have claimed they have sufficient coal reserves for next one week to 10 days.

With inputs from agencies.
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