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More number of power plants having critically low coal stocks: CEA

In fact, out of these 88 TPPs with low stock, 21 cited the regulation of supply by Coal India Ltd (CIL) due to outstanding dues as the reason for low stocks.

Published: 29th September 2021 10:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th September 2021 10:58 AM   |  A+A-

electricity

Image for representational purposes (Express Illustration)

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  Despite efforts to prioritise coal shipments to thermal power plants (TPP) with critically low coal stock, data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) shows that the number of TPPs with less than eight days of fuel stock has only increased over the past month. Going by the most recent coal stock report released by the CEA, out of the 135 TPPs tracked by the agency, 103 TPPs had less than eight days of stock as of September 26-a steep increase from 74 on August 30.

The number of TPPs with zero days of stock left had also risen to 10 as of September 26 from just three on August 30, while TPPs with four days or less of stock rose to a whopping 88 TPPs from an already problematic 60 on August 30. These 88 plants represent 109 GW of installed power generation capacity. 

Coal-fired power plants have been struggling to meet the steep rise in electricity demand witnessed over the past two months due to both monsoon-related supply disruptions in some cases and coal supplies being restricted due to non-payment of dues in others. 

In fact, out of these 88 TPPs with low stock, 21 cited the regulation of supply by Coal India Ltd (CIL) due to outstanding dues as the reason for low stocks. Out of these, 10 TPPs have reported that CIL has now augmented supplies. 

The continued deterioration in coal stocks comes even as the Union power and coal ministries have directed a diversion of coal supplies from TPPs with high stock to those running critically low on fuel. With several power plants shutting operations after stocks hit zero, the government had decided on August 31 to “give priority supplies to all the TPPs having critical stock level and to focus on stock liquidation from the mines having high stock level”. “Secretary (Coal) has further directed that in case of availability issue at linked mines, alternative sources be allocated for smooth running of the plant.


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