New Delhi: Amid escalating coal crisis in the country, Union Coal Minister Prahlad Joshi on Saturday said power generation has come down due to rise in international coal prices but this situation will be fixed in three-four days. He told reporters on the sidelines of a book unveiling program that the excessive rainfall in many parts of the country has also led to shortage of coal in power generation plants.
Joshi said, “If we compare with the last several years, the production and supply of coal has been at the highest level during the month of September and especially during the month of October. The situation will improve in the next three to four days.
He said that the international price of imported coal has suddenly increased. Power plants that used imported coal stopped producing electricity. They have stopped production so the entire burden of power generation is now on domestic coal. The Union Minister said that he would share “full details” on coal availability in the next one or two days.
Power crisis deepens in the country due to heavy rainfall affecting the movement of coal
Power crisis has deepened in many states, including Delhi and Punjab, with coal movement affected due to excessive rainfall in many parts of the country. With imported coal prices reaching record levels, imported coal-fired power plants are producing less than half of their capacity. For these two reasons the power generation sector is under double pressure. Though the country has recorded record production of coal this year, excessive rainfall has significantly affected the movement of fuel from coal mines to power generation units.
This has had a profound impact on power generation in many states including Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Tamil Nadu. Power supply has also been affected in Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh due to the coal crisis. While power producers and distributors have warned of power cuts, claiming that only two days of coal are left, the Coal Ministry says that there is enough coal stock in the country and the goods are being replenished continuously.
In addition, power plants that use imported coal to generate electricity have either reduced production or shut down completely due to the jump in prices. Tata Power, which supplies 1850 MW to Gujarat, 475 to Punjab, 380 to Rajasthan, 760 to Maharashtra and 380 MW to Haryana, has stopped generation from its imported coal-fired power plant at Mundra in Gujarat. Adani Power’s Mundra unit is also facing a similar problem.
A top coal ministry official said, “There are reserves of about 40 million tonnes in mines and 7.5 million tonnes in power plants. Transport of coal from mines to power plants has been a problem as the mines have been flooded due to excessive rains. But now it is being dealt with and the supply of coal to power plants is increasing.” Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra regarding the power crisis.
He said in the letter that he is personally monitoring the situation and trying his best to avoid such a situation. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy also said in a letter to the Prime Minister, “The last stage of harvesting requires more water and if water is not available, the fields dry up and farmers suffer. “
In this regard, a Tata Power spokesperson said, “We have stopped production at our power plant at Mundra. It is impossible to supply electricity under the current power purchase agreement due to the high cost of imported coal.” Adani Power did not comment on the crisis at the moment.