ANGUL: The Central public sector National Aluminium Company (Nalco) is facing an acute shortage of coal to run its 1200-mw captive power plant (CPP) here due to short supply from Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL).
The CPP may be forced to shut down its units if supply of coal from MCL is not increased soon. Nalco smelter plant needs uninterrupted power supply from its CPP round the clock to keep its aluminium producing pots in operative condition.
The workers’ union leaders of Nalco have resented that MCL hardly bothers about Nalco while it sends 36 to 37 rakes of coal daily from Talcher coalfield to outside States.
According to Nalco official sources, it had coal stock to run for one month in the beginning of the current financial year.
Now the stock can meet the demand for only six days even if it runs six out of ten 120-mw units.
The sources pointed out that in the first half of this financial year, the MCL supplied two lakh tonne of coal which is less than the linkage demand of 22.20 lakh tonne. The supply from this month can meet only the daily requirement. So the stock, which could have lasted for about a month in April, can run for only six days with hardly 90,000 tonne in the stock yards, the sources said.
The CPP has total 10 units but it had to shut down four units due to want of coal. With cancellation of coal block allocated to it, the public sector now totally depends on MCL for running its plant.
Reacting sharply to the short supply of coal, Nirmal Samal, working president of recognised Nalco Employees’ Sangh affiliated to INTUC, said the MCL is pushing Nalco towards a dark future particularly after the coal block deallocation. “We appeal to MCL to not only meet the linkage demand of Nalco but also enhance the supply to keep all the units running”, he said .
General manager (sales) of MCL Raghunandan said he would check if there was short supply of coal. “On many occasions, Nalco could not lift the coal because of their transportation problem. Still we will look into the issue,” he added.