Uttar Pradesh’s energy minister Srikant Sharma, in a letter to Union power minister Piyush Goyal, has sought the latter’s help so that some private and state-owned power plants can come out of critical coal-stock scenario. Through the letter seen by FE, Sharma requested Goyal to increase the quantum of coal supply to private power plants such as 1,980 Lalitpur plant and 1,200 MW Roja plant and state utility-owned generating stations such as 665 MW Harduaganj plant and 1,140 MW Parichha power plant.
Sharma also asked Goyal to instruct the Central Electricity Authority to include independent power plants in the state in the ‘critical’ category. This would make Coal India Limited supply sufficient coal to such plant so that they have comfortable fuel stock, just the way CEA has included some state utility and NTPC plants in the list. According to the official definition, power plants with reserves of less than four days are termed to have ‘super-critical’ reserve. This definition stands for non-pithead power plants, like the ones cited above, which get supply of coal through railways.
However, power plants having less coal stock due to outstanding dues are not shown as having critical /supercritical coal stock As earlier reported by FE, coal stocks at some private thermal power plants which receive the fuel from Central Coalfield Ltd (CCL) have reached precarious levels as CCL is said to be supplying more fuel to NTPC power plants. In a note sent to railways, a senior CCL official said that the company was directed to prioritise six NTPC plants for coal supply. According to sources, this is due to the the shutdown of Dhanbad-Chandrapura railway line, which compelled Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) to shift 8-10 rakes from its supply to CCL. Underground fire at Jharia coal field and unsafe operations of the railway led to the shutdown of Dhanbad-Chandrapura line in December, 2016.