Nationwide coal scarcity hurts Rourkela Steel Plant in Odisha

The NTPC-SAIL Power Company Ltd (NSPCL) at RSP has also recently suspended its new 250 MW unit due to inadequate availability of boiler coal.

Published: 14th June 2022 09:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th June 2022 09:31 AM   |  A+A-

Rourkela Steel Plant

Rourkela Steel Plant (Representational Image)

By Express News Service

ROURKELA: The ongoing coal crunch in India has hit production in SAIL's Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) here. The most lucrative plant of SAIL has been forced to cut down the daily hot metal production for want of imported coal.

The NTPC-SAIL Power Company Ltd (NSPCL) at RSP has also recently suspended its new 250 MW unit due to inadequate availability of boiler coal. The power unit was commissioned on March 29.

Sources said on an average, three blast furnaces (BFs) produce around 14,000 tonne of hot metal daily. But for the last 10 days, daily hot metal production has been cut down significantly. On Monday, the hot metal output was 12,500 tonne while it was 11,500 tonne on Sunday. The situation would deteriorate further with depletion of the existing imported coal inventory and delay in arrival of fresh stock.

Former general secretary of Steel Executives' Federation of India (SEFI) Bimal Bisi said the situation will have serious implications on the profitability of RSP. Besides, lower output with fixed expenditure will lead to rise in production cost.

Seeking intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bisi claimed that imported coal consignments are waiting at Paradip, Dhamra, Haldia and Visakhapatnam ports without reaching RSP as the government has prioritised supply only to power plants.

"The RSP needs around 2.5 railway rakes of imported coal (one rake carries 3,600-3,700 tonne) daily, but is hardly receiving one rake for steel production," he said.

Sources said 80 per cent of imported coal arrives from Australia and the rest 20 per cent from USA and Mozambique. The imported coal is converted into coke in the ovens before being blended to feed in the BFs.

Bisi said in 2021-22, the RSP had registered an all-time high profit. In June, the plant is likely to suffer loss due to continuing production loss and unfavourable market condition.  The RSP provides boiler coal to the NSPCL plant and the new unit of 250 MW had to be closed for shortly supply. In May, the RSP received around 80,000 tonne against the requirement of 1.65 lakh tonne.  


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