Guidelines to ensure coal supply for power plants in the offing

Mumbai, Nov 29 | Updated: Nov 30 2006, 07:44am hrs
The ministries of power and coal, and the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) are finalising new norms to remove various constraints faced by power utilities in procurement of coal.

The regulatory utilities may be allowed up to 100% of their certified requirement through fuel supply and transportation agreement (FSTA).

To ensure fuel security to coal-based power plants, sources involved in the process told FE that a tripartite FSTA would be signed by the coal company, railways ministry (for rail fed coal-based stations) and power utilities.

CEA has brought to the notice of power and coal ministries that self-regulations imposed by power utilities and unloading constraints at some thermal stations are critically affecting power production.

In the past, some of the power stations had requested companies to restrict the supply of coal due to excessive stocks or lack of storage space. CEA has argued that power stations have adequate unloading capacity and rakes can be unloaded in free time allowed. However, oversized coal, stones and boulders and sticky coal during monsoon result in high detention of rakes. Bunching of rakes by railways also results in high detention of rakes.

NTPC has projected a shortfall of 10.5 million tonne per annum (mtpa) for NTPCs Lara and Darlipalli integrated projects. Both the projects have size equivalent to an ultra mega power project. However, according to CEA, the shortfall is of 16 mtpa.

In case of 11th Plan power projects of Damodar Valley Corporation, CEA has informed the power ministry that coal requirement for Mejia plant unit 4, 5 & 6 would be met from allotted Borjora (N) coal block, Mejia Phase-II (2x500 mw) from Khagra Joydeb and Kasta (E) coal blocks and Chandrapura (units 7 & 8) from Gondulpara coal block.

For other power projects comprising Durgapur Steel plant (2x500 mw), Raghunathpur plant (2x500 mw), Koderma TPP (2x500 mw) and Bokaro-A replacement (1x500 mw), long-term linkages have been applied.