Power Plants At Critical Level Due To Coal Shortage
- 'Critical stage' is when coal stocks drop to less than 25% of this.
- Sanjay Gandhi had only 5% of its minimum requirement enough for barely one and a half days.
- The cost of power has also increased at Rs 12 per unit.
Bhopal: Three thermal plants in MP have stocks to last barely 1.5 to 3.5 days. Already, we have had the first official load shedding of the season. On April 21st, when peak demand crossed 11,476 MW, there were power cuts to bridge the 83MW shortfall, official records say. According to the April 21st report of the central electricity authority, coal stock is at a ‘critical level’ at three of these power stations.
‘Critical stage’ is when coal stocks drop to less than 25% of this. As per the CEA report, Sanjay Gandhi had only 5% of its minimum requirement – enough for barely one and a half days. Satpura had only 11% of the minimum stock requirement, or for 2.5 days, and Shri Singaji had 15% of minimum levels, or enough for only 3.5 days. State discoms are already overdrawing power from the national grid on a daily basis. The overdraft ranges from 500MW to 1000MW every day, say sources.
Owing to the ongoing coal crisis in several states, the cost of power in the open market has also increased and it is now being sold at Rs 12 per unit, making it difficult to purchase in case there is higher demand. This makes power cuts or load shedding inevitable. “Due to high temperatures, there is a sharp increase in demand. Normally, such high temperatures are not seen in April.
“Market prices are also higher as the energy availability is less across the country. The situation is challenging and will continue to be so until coal availability improves. Worryingly, the coal situation at three of the four thermal power stations in MP is far from normal. “Thermal power stations are in a hand-to-mouth situation. If coal rakes are delayed by a day or so, it could get difficult to manage, retired additional chief engineer of MP Genco, Rajendra Agarwal.