BHUBANESWAR: As coal-fired power generating stations gasp for breath due to short supply of the solid fuel and Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) face unfavourable socio-political situation, the State Government has miserably failed to resolve the crisis.
The State-owned Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) has been facing short supply of coal for its 1,740 MW capacity Ib Thermal Power Station (ITPS) in Jharsuguda district for over a month due to public resistance regarding removal of overburden from Lakhanpur area of MCL severely affecting production of the fossil fuel.
“We are unable to produce coal as per the mine capacity. MCL is producing 30,000 tonnes coal against its capacity of 62,000 tonnes from Lakhanpur open cast mines because of local resistance,” highly placed sources in Coal India subsidiary said.
The coal production to full capacity is not possible as MCL is not allowed to remove the overburden of quarry No. 6 dumped on a government land at Ubuda by the local people. Though the district administration deployed a section of armed police on October 7 to remove the overburden, they were resisted by locals. Police force had to be withdrawn following intervention of local MLA, sources said.
The decision to deploy armed police at the mining site was taken at a meeting held under the chairmanship of Jharsuguda Collector Saroj Samal on October 5. It was also decided that MCL will increase coal supply to OPGC from 10,000 tonnes to 18,000 tonne from October 6 and enhance the quantity to 20,000 tonnes from October 7 against ITPS’s daily requirement of 24,000 tonnes.
MCL could supply 16,000 tonnes of coal to OPGC on October 7 and the quantity reduced to 12,000 tonnes on October 8 due to the same problem. The thermal power generating station had received 16,000 tonnes coal on Thursday till the report was filed.
OPGC, a joint venture company between State Government having majority stake of 51 per cent and American power major AES with 49 per cent share, has four generating units. While stage one has two units of 210 MW each, stage two has two super critical units of 660 MW each.
The Odisha Coal and Power Limited (OCPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of OPGC, has been allotted Manoharpur and Dip-side Manoharpur coal blocks for assured fuel linkage to the expansion projects of ITPS. Though the coal blocks are ready for exploration, OPGC is unable to take up mining activities due to transportation problem.
OPGC facing coal short supply for its 1,740 MW capacity Ib Thermal Power Station in Jharsuguda district for over a month
MCL producing 30,000 tonnes coal against capacity of 62,000 tonnes from Lakhanpur open cast mines
MCL not allowed to remove overburden of quarry No 6 dumped on a government land at Ubuda
Armed police deployed at site withdrawn after local MLA’s intervention
MCL could supply 16,000 tonnes of coal to OPGC on Oct 7 and 12,000 tonnes on Oct 8
OPGC had received 16,000 tonnes coal on Thursday