AMARAVATI: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "urgent personal attention" to monitor the power generation scenario and take appropriate remedial measures to tide over the crisis in view of the non-availability of coal stocks.
Given the state's precarious financial situation, it was not able to purchase required power from the open market as the purchase prices have also shot up with growing demand.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister asked Modi to direct the Coal Ministry and the Railways to allot 20 coal rakes to thermal power stations in AP.
He also sought the revival of stranded and non-working pit head coal plants on an emergency basis regardless of the ongoing proceedings before the National Companies Law Tribunal.
Deep-water well gas available with ONGC and Reliance could be supplied on an emergency basis to the 2,300 MW non-working gas-based power plants in the state, he said.
"In AP, the post-Covid power demand increased by 15 per cent in the last six months and by 20 per cent in the last one month. The power sector is being pushed into turmoil because of the coal shortage. It has become increasingly difficult for us to meet the grid demand and the circumstances are pushing us towards load shedding," the Chief Minister pointed out.
The state has been currently meeting a demand of about 185-190 million units of power daily.
The Chief Minister said thermal power generating stations of AP Genco, which meet 45 per cent of the state's energy needs, hardly have coal stocks for one or two days.
The Genco plants were operating at less than 50 per cent of their 90 million units per day capacity.
"The Central generating stations have also not been able to supply more than 75 per cent of their 40 MU per day capacity. The state has not been executing contracts with coal-based plant to absorb energy from renewable sources (8,000 MW) and, as such, is heavily dependent on market purchases to bridge the shortfall," Jagan said.
The daily average market price of power in the open market increased from Rs 4.6 per kWh on September 15 to Rs 15 per kWh on October 8.
"The rates in day-ahead and real-time power markets are soaring by the day and have reached a peak of Rs 20 per unit at most time. Power is also not available at certain hours due to less generation in the country," the Chief Minister lamented.
He apprehended that the situation was "quite alarming" and finances of power distribution companies would deteriorate further if the situation persisted.
Since it was harvesting season, more water was required for crops and denial (of power and water) would cause the fields to dry up.
"Unplanned power cuts once resorted to will lead to chaotic conditions in the society as witnessed in (the year) 2012. I, therefore, request your urgent personal attention to monitor the scenario to avert (such) chaotic conditions," Jagan urged the Prime Minister.
The Chief Minister also requested that banks and lending institutions be instructed to provide working capital loans liberally to the power distribution companies to make coal payments and also undertake market purchases.