• Blackout Warning For Assam Amid Coal Shortage

    The power position is clearly at a critical level and load shedding may be inevitable: APDCL

    There could be a blackout in Assam if coal supplies to power plants do not improve, the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) said on Monday.

    In a public message published in local newspapers, the APDCL, a public limited company owned by the Government of Assam, stated that the “power position is clearly at critical level”.

    “Due to limited coal availability, the generation of power from Thermal Generating Stations has declared considerably. The power position is clearly at a critical level and power outages/load shedding may be inevitable. Kindly bear with us and use electricity judiciously. Energy saved is energy generated. Inconvenience caused is highly regretted,” according to the notice signed by Chief general Manager (COM & EE), APDCL.

    An energy crisis is looming large in some states, including Delhi, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Odisha, due to several factors like excess rainfall hitting coal movement and imported coal-based power plants generating less than half of their capacity due to record-high rates.

    As several States, including Delhi, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Odisha,  have raised concerns over long power cuts due to shortage of coal, the Ministry of Coal emphasised that ample coal is available in the country to meet the demand of power plants. 

    “Any fear of disruption in the power supply is entirely misplaced. The coal stock at power plant end is about 72 Lakh tonnes, sufficient for 4 days requirement, and that the Coal India Limited (CIL) end is more than 400 Lakh tonnes, which is being supplied to the power plants,” the Ministry of Coal said in a statement.

    The Ministry informed that the domestic coal-based power generation has grown by nearly 24 per cent in this year (till September 2021) based on a  supply from the coal companies. 

    “The daily average coal requirement at the power plants is about 18.5 Lakh tonnes of coal per day whereas the daily coal supply has been around 17.5 lakh tonnes per day. Due to extended monsoons the despatches were constrained. The coal available at the power plants is a rolling stock which gets replenished by the supplies from the coal companies on a daily basis. Therefore, any fear of coal stocks depleting at the power plant end is erroneous. In fact this year, domestic coal supply has substituted imports by a substantial measure.,” the Ministry added.

    Despite heavy rains in the coalfield areas, CIL had supplied more than 255 MT coal to the power sector in this year which is the highest ever H-1 supply from CIL to the power sector, the Ministry said. 

    “Out of the total coal supply from all sources, present coal supply from CIL to the power sector is more than 14 lakh tonnes per day and with the receding rains, this supply has already increased to 15 lakh tonnes and is set to increase to more than 16 lakh tonnes per day by the end of October 2021. The supply from SCCL and captive coal blocks shall contribute to another 3 lakh plus tonnes of coal every day,” the Ministry said.

    “Domestic coal supplies have supported power generation in a major way despite heavy monsoons, low coal imports, and a steep hike in power demand due to economic recovery. It is expected that coal supplies are set to be a record high in the current financial year,” the Ministry further mentioned.

    Due to high international prices of coal, supply of power even under PPAs by import-based power plants has reduced by almost 30 per cent while domestic-based power supply has gone up nearly 24 per cent in H1 of this year. The imported coal-based power plants have generated about 25.6 BU against a program of 45.7 BU, the Ministry mentioned.
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