Deepening coal crisis forced NALCO authorities to shut down two 120 MW units at its captive power plant here last week.
Faced with sharp drop in power generation at its captive power plant, Nalco officials are regulating power supply to its sensitive smelter plant here. The low power supply has hampered aluminium production, sources said.
To bridge the gap, the Nalco authorities now have to get about 150 to 200 MW of power from Gridco.
Executive Director of Nalco Smelter and Power Plant, Pradipta Ranjan Ray Chaudhury said against the linkage demand of 11,200 tonnes of coal a day during monsoon season, the plant has been getting on an average 7,000 tonnes a day since the beginning of this month, which is a deficit of about 52,000 tonnes till date.
“Though we have a stock of imported coal to the tune of more than a lakh tonnes, it can be used only after being blended with MCL coal and hence, were forced to shut down two of the eight units in the last few days. Instead of usual production of 960 MW of power, the generation now is hardly 600 MW from the operational six units,” he said, confirming that power supply to the smelter plant is also being regulated. Out of 960 pots, only 858 are being run, he added.
MCL Director A K Singh attributed the problem to sharp fall in coal production at feeding Bharatpur coalmine at Talcher. Its expansion process had been stalled in the absence of forest clearance, he said.
It may be noted that earlier Nalco had blamed low supply of coal for its decline in profit.