Coal crunch plunges Andhra Pradesh into darkness

Coal crunch plunges state into darkness

Coal crunch plunges state into darkness


Andhra Pradesh is on the brink of a power crisis today.

Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh is on the brink of a power crisis today. It is more due to the neglect of the coal stocking issue. It is more of a self-inflicted wound. As it is, there is a lack of coordination amongst ministries of coal, railways and power which is leading to coal shortage leading to power outages in the AP.

As per the official records the maximum demand on May 2 stands at 10,724 mw registering a growth of 10.38% than last year on the same day.

Though many districts have reported power cuts ranging from 2 hours in urban areas to 3 to 4 hours in rural areas, the Discoms claim that there were no power cuts in the state. They said they have met 208.125 million units.

The state power generation stands at 72.25 MU of thermal power, 5.80 Hydel power, 3450 MU from Central Generation Stations, 20,725 MU from Independent power producers.

The Discoms are buying power from the open market at about Rs 15 per unit. They are purchasing about 30 million units.

Sources said the coal supply which is the source for power generation in thermal units was turning to be critical with increasing shortage of coal supply across the country.

The VTPS at Ibrahimpatnam needs 28,500 tonnes of coal daily for full generation of 1,760 mw. At present the generation came down to 1,650 mw and it is likely to drop further with the prevailing coal crisis.

As per the official bulletin released on Tuesday, coal reserves at the VTPS will be exhausted by Wednesday. The coal reserves at RTPP are likely to be exhausted in one- and-a half days, Krishnapatnam thermal plant has coal stocks for six days and Hinduja power plant has stocks for two days.

The Government of Andhra Pradesh now says that it is planning to import high grade coal from abroad and has announced a tendering schedule for the same.

But, does it realize the gravity of the situation? Could it not have gone for the same earlier?

At least 12 out of 15 thermal plants using imported coal in the country are in the critical category as the cost of imported coal has risen abnormally.

They are not willing to procure imported coal at escalated rates. Among such plants, 14 are in the private sector, the power engineers' body said. Andhra Pradesh seems to have failed in calculating the impact of summer.

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