Coal stock in Tamil Nadu has dwindled further in the last one week. While there was stock to run power plants for seven days a week ago, it has fallen to six days’ stock now. Since only 35,000 tonnes of coal is supplied per day to the plants against a demand of 75,000 tonnes per day , the available stock will vanish in a matter of days, warn Tangedco officials. Many power plants in Maharashtra and Punjab have been shut owing to coal shortage.”After the problem started one month ago, we used to get only 15,000 tonnes per day .
The supply was increased to 35,000 tonnes a day after power minister P Thangamani and chief secretary Girija Vaidyanathan wrote letters to Union coal minister Piyush Goyal and coal secretary. Since wind season is almost over, we need to use thermal units, because of which the coal demand is also increasing,” a senior Tangedco official told TOI. “Coal is supplied on a daily basis, but the quantity is very little as enough rail rakes are not available. We require 20 rakes a day but we are getting only 5,” said the official.
Coal minister on September 9 faulted state discoms for not stocking enough coal for at least 22 days. “Every year, demand for coal increases during monsoon and transportation becomes a chal lenge due to floods in mine areas. For the last four months, we had asked all the state governments to stock coal for 2235 days, but the plants have brought it down to 12-13 days,” Goyal said.
Tangedco gets coal from Talcher and Ib Valley in Odisha and Ranigunj and Singareni in Andhra Pradesh.”Movement of coal from the mines to the thermal units is becoming a major issue. We have stopped import of coal.Domestic coal is just not moving as planned due to shortage of rakes,” said the official.From Ib valley , Tangedco gets coal in the form of boulders and it has to be crushed before it is sent to the thermal units.
The coming week will be a challenge for Tangedco. “We only hope we get wind and solar power during weekdays.As of now, we have shut a few thermal units due to weekend. But we will restart them on Monday when power demand increases,” said the official. Read more
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