Coal has been fulfilling India’s growing electricity needs. It has 58 percent of share in the total installed capacity but when it comes to generation coal produces more than 80 percent of the power. However, this thermal source that acts as a pivot is under tremendous stress. Central Electricity Authority’s March 2013 Report suggests that 22 out of 83 thermal plants have less than a week’s stock of coal. Three weeks stock is considered a safe situation. These plants account for a total installed capacity of 28465 MW which is one third of the total coal based installed capacity in the country as on March 31, 2013. If we take the total installed capacity in the country it accounts for critical 10 percent. Out of 22 plants 8 didn’t get enough supply, three couldn’t get coal due to lack of proper import and two due to inadequate production in the coal fields that were linked to them.
The 8 power plants that are suffering from critical shortage due to less receipt of coal are, Badarpur, Sabarmati C, Khaperkheda, Bhusawal, Simhadri, North Chennai, Vallur TPP, Sterlite. Out of these 8, Badarpur, Sabarmati C and North Chennai received 92 to 94 percent of annual contracted quantity. However, Bhusawal was the worst hit and received just 46 percent of the annual contracted quantity followed by Khaperkheda (64 percent), Vallur Thermal Power Plant (73 percent) and Simhadri (87 percent).
In Mahatma Gandhi plant the lack of availability of domestic coal has brought down the stocks to a critical level of less than 3 days.
In Sipat unit 2&3 and Durgapur Steel’s unit two the coal supply hasn’t commenced, while in case of Talchar, Santaldih and Wardha Warora faced crunch due to inadequate import. Kodarma Thermal Power plant too is awaiting coal supply.
In Farakka and Kahalgaon, it was a curious case of linked mines not producing adequate coal. The Parli plant faced a peculiar problem. It suffered from restricted supply of raw water so they regulated the coal supply and the electricity generation.
However, three plants, Dadri, Korba Super thermal Power Station (STPS) and Rayalseema have suffered constraints over production. Dadri and Korba produced more than hundred percent of their projected target and Rayalseema was also performing at 84 percent.
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