Nalcos coal shortage due to transport problems, crisis still on

New Delhi, Jul 30 | Updated: Jul 31 2007, 04:08am hrs
Barely three days after the state-run aluminum giant Nalco said it shut down two of its power units owing to acute coal shortage, a top coal ministry official on Monday said the PSUs inept handling of coal transportation has resulted in its current plight.

National Aluminum Company (Nalco) on last Friday said its power units, capable of generating 960 mw, had to be shut down owing to serious coal crisis. The company had then said the current stock was good for only a day or two and it had to source 100 mw of power from the Grid Corporation of Orissa Ltd. If the crisis continues, it would have a serious bearing on the smelter which has 720 pots that required over 600 mw of uninterrupted power.

Nalco has been given captive coal blocks to enable it to operate its power plants. It handles the transportation of the coal from the pithead to the plants on its own. The mode of transportation broke down following which they are facing shortage. The coal PSUs cannot be blamed for their plight, the official said, on the condition of anonymity.

With the system breaking down, the aluminum giants coal stock position has dwindled rapidly and the companys top brass made a fervent appeal to the Coal India Limited to bail it out of the crisis, he said.

As a one-time measure, the ministrys sub-group has recommended that two rakes of coal be supplied to the PSU to augment supplies and to keep its captive power plants operational to ensure continued power generation till their coal supplies were restored, the official said.