Coal-starved NTPC Kaniha plant critical

If normalcy is not restored, NTPC will be forced to regulate power generation.

Published: 09th May 2018 06:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th May 2018 06:09 AM   |  A+A-

File photo of a coal mine

By Express News Service

ANGUL: Without any coal supply from the feeding mine for the last 10 days, the 3,000 MW NTPC, Kaniha plant has entered the supercritical stage with a stock for only two days. A power plant becomes supercritical when its stock plummets below four days’ requirement.

As per reports, the feeding coal mine has been paralysed for the last eight days due to strike by local villagers and truckers. Work in the mine was stopped by nearby villagers for two days from May 4 and later, truckers engaged in coal transportation also went on strike demanding same rate from the new contractor. Some locals also joined the agitators demanding jobs.

While the situation in NTPC plant is worsening with each passing day, the district administration appears helpless due to involvement of political leaders in the agitation.If normalcy is not restored at Kaniha mine and coal supply to the power plant does not resume soon, NTPC will be forced to regulate power generation or stop some units in the plant.NTPC, Kaniha supplies power to 17 States, including Odisha. The Kaniha mine, located near the plant, feeds 20,000 to 25,000 tonne of coal per day .  

A top NTPC official said the plant’s stock has come down to 1.7 lakh tonne from seven lakh tonne because of less coal supply from the mines. But so far, there has been no impact on the plant’s power generation as the six 500 MW units are running at full load utilising the existing stock, he said.“We require 55,000 tonne of coal per day to run the plant at full load. But now, we are getting not more than 35,000 tonne to 40,000 tonne in a day. So we are forced to use the existing stock.

The management is also trying to get coal from Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) to make up for the shortfall. If the short supply persists, we will be forced to curtail power generation from the plant within the next two days and even stop the units,” the official said.Contacted, a top official of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) said there is a shortfall of 3,000 tonne to 4,000 tonne of coal per day to NTPC due to the strike at Kaniha mine.“The MCL is supplying coal to the plant from various sources. Talks are on with NTPC, Coal India Limited and Railways to arrange coal from ECL to the plant,” he said.


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