The 3000 mw NTPC-Kaniha power plant was forced to shut down one 500 mw unit due to shortage of coal supply from Mahanadi Coalfield Limited (MCL) on Thursday evening. Besides, it has to operate other five units partially due to coal scarcity.
According to official sources, instead of its capacity of generating 3000 mw per day, it now produces about 2000 mw. NTPC Kaniha power plant is the second largest power plant in India.
According to NTPC sources, the plant has been receiving less than 40,000 tonnes of coal for the last seven days instead of its daily demand of 55,000 tonnes to run all the six 5000 mw units in full load. The stock has plummeted to record low of 40,000 tonnes which cannot meet emergency situation.
As a result, NTPC has cut down supply to the States that are dependent on it including Odisha. The official sources also feared that other units may also shut down if the situation does not improve in coming days.
Meanwhile, talking to Press at the annual media appreciation meet at Kaniha on Friday, Executive Director of the plant VB Fednabis ruled out any early solution to the coal problem as the nearest Kaniha open cast coal mine is not ready to dispatch coal even if NTPC has already laid railway tracks.
“Coal is the main cause for less power generation from the plant over the years,” he said. NTPC sources said MCL has allocated 173 lakh tonnes of coal for NTPC Kaniha plant but so far it has supplied 149 lakh tonnes, he said. “Hence we import coal which is costlier and increases cost of production. Its use is also resisted by consumers. We have lost 1947 million units of power during the current year which is equivalent to seven per cent of PLF,” sources said.