Power generation capacity of 47 power plants in the country has been severely affected as these plants are facing acute shortage of coal, the main fuel to fire their steam turbines. Close to 65,000 Mega Watts (MW) of generation capacity is held up in the country due to fule shortage supplied by state-run Coal India, according to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
These 47 plants are categorised as stations with critical coal stock position of less than seven days by CEA, the apex power planning body of the country.
India’s thermal power plants have a total installed capacity 1,18,703 MW against which they are producing only 53,703 MW as shortage of coal has affected these plants across the country.
The condition of these plants is mainly due to less receipt from monolith Coal India and its subsidiaries.
The total capacity that is lying vacant due to want of fuel stands at 64, 925 MW. Power plants with total installed capacity of 15, 860 MW capacity of state-owned NTPC are struggling due to less receipt of coal from CIL, according to the CEA data.
Six of NTPC’s power stations — Rihand 2,500 MW, Singrauli 2,000 MW, Vindhyachal 3,760 MW, Ramagundam 2,600 MW, Simhadri 2,000 MW and Talcher 3,000 MW — are reeling under acute coal shortage and have less than a week’s stock at their disposal.
According to another CEA data, there was a peak power deficit — shortfall in generation capacity during the time when the electricity consumption is the maximum — of 9 per cent or 12,159 MW in the first six months (April-September) of the current financial year 2012-13 . Peak power deficit in September alone stood at 10 per cent or 13,291MW.
Earlier, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) directed CIL to sign fuel supply agreements (FSAs) with power companies even in the absence of power purchase agreements (PPAs).
It was decided during the meeting that FSAs can be signed with power companies having long-term and medium-term PPAs based on confirmation from the Power Ministry that it is benefitting the consumers.
Power Minister Veerappa Moily’s office in a recent communication with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has mentioned that delay in allocation of coal blocks was hurting power generation plans of NTPC and other power utilities in the country.