VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation (APGENCO) is hit by a severe shortage of coal, ‘adversely affecting’ the thermal power stations in the State and leading to power interruptions.
With only 45,000 metric tonnes (MT) of coal being received from Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) and Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) as against the required 70,000 MT to run the thermal stations at 85 per cent peak load factor (PLF), Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has shot off a letter to Union Minister for Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi, requesting alternative supply of coal under the Fuel Supply Agreement.
Jagan has also requested his Telangana counterpart K Chandrasekhar Rao to double the coal supply from SCCL from the present four rakes per day to nine to meet the shortfall.
The Energy Department officials explained that the reason for the shortage of coal was the boycott of duties by workers of MCL. The situation has been compounded by the subsequent heavy rains in both MCL and SCCL areas, making mining and loading of coal difficult.
“An accident occurred in Bharatpur mines of MCL in the last week of July, resulting in the closure of operations. This was followed by a 15-day strike by workers, which affected the coal supplies to APGENCO. In the third week of September, there was a strike in MCL mines for three days and in SCCL for a day.
Heavy rainfall in the mine areas this month had a cascading effect. Because of these issues, we are receiving 45,000 MT of coal as against the required 70,000 MT,” the department said in a statement.On Friday and Saturday, APSPDCL Chairman and Managing Director H Haranatha Rao said there was a shortage of 1,100 MW, resulting in power interruptions in the State.
On Sunday, the Energy Department claimed that against the required 156 MU of power, thermal stations met the demand with 152 MU.
Energy Minister Balineni Srinivasa Reddy, who reviewed the situation on Sunday, when there was a shortage of 4 million units because of reduced coal stocks, said that the issue would be resolved in a couple of days.
APGENCO Managing Director B Sreedhar apprised the minister that 57,000 MT of coal is expected by October 1. In addition, a 600 MW unit at Krishnapatnam thermal power station will be added to the AP power system within a day or two, he noted. The Energy Minister also pointed out that besides shortfall of coal, the increase in demand has led to the present situation.
“The State is also supplying nine hour free power in the daytime to the farm sector, which added to the already rising power demand. Despite the constraints, we are working in coordination to resolve the issue at the earliest,” he said.
Regarding the other issues, the department further observed that the State borrowed Round the Clock (RTC) power of 3,800 MU from Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh from November 2018 to April 2019, with an agreement that 1,500 MW RTC of 3,990 MU will be returned from June 15 to September 30, 2019.
“The complaint given by KSK thermal power plant, which supplies 400 MW, about non-receipt of payments will also be resolved on Monday. AP will be able to overcome the shortfall of power thereafter,” the statement noted.