Coal crunch rattles homegrown industries

Of the total 40 million tonnes (MT) coal requirement by CPPs, supply by Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) stands as low as 13 MT which is 30 per cent of the requirement.

Published: 08th December 2018 02:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th December 2018 08:04 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR:  While Odisha is all set to scale new heights with an investment prospect that runs into crores of rupees, a single differentiating factor - lack of coal security - could dampen its objective.The irony here is that the State is endowed with 24.5 per cent of coal reserves and 15 per cent of coal production in the country. However, due to the prioritisation of coal supply to independent power producers, homegrown captive power plants (CPPs) with an aggregate capacity of 7,800 MW are saddled with acute coal shortage. 

Of the total 40 million tonnes (MT) coal requirement by CPPs, supply by Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) stands as low as 13 MT which is 30 per cent of the requirement. “Due to coal scarcity, our power plants are operating at 60-70 per cent  of their installed capacity,” said CEO of Vedanta Limited Abhijit Pati while addressing a workshop on ‘Dialogue for Coal Security for Odisha-based Industries,’ organised by Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industries (UCCI) on Friday. 

Despite several representations made to MCL and Railways, the coal supply position has not improved, alleged an official with metal producer. Forced to turn to imports, the official added that the input cost for CPPs has escalated by an additional `1,500 per tonne.Apart from inadequate supply, non-materialisation of rakes is worsening the coal crisis in the State, pointed out S S Upadhyaya of JSL, adding that imported coal often lies stagnant at Paradip, Dharma and other ports as there are no rakes to transport them. Most of the industries are operating with inventory as low as 3-4 days, which is extremely stressing for operation, he added. 

President of UCCI Ramesh Mahapatra said industries in the State have been pressing their demand for adequate supply of the fuel for years now, but to no avail. “It is a serious concern and we have already taken up the issue with the Chief Secretary and requested the Government to address the crisis. For the larger benefit of our industries, UCCI will take up the issue with the Central Government if required,” he added.Officials of Nalco, JSL, Hindalco, JK Paper and Facor Po wer, who were present at the event, also raised similar concerns.

Stay up to date on all the latest Odisha news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp