A standing committee of the coal ministry has recommended coal linkages to state-run power plants with a cumulative capacity of 3,300 megawatt (MW) in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. Maharashtra had sought 3.18 million tonne (MT) of coal per annum for an upcoming 660 MW unit of the Bhusawal power plant. The linkage committee, based on the Union power ministry’s recommendation, has sanctioned fuel supply to this unit which is expected to be commissioned in FY22.
The committee also recommended bridge linkage to a 660 MW unit of Tamil Nadu’s state-owned Ennore SEZ super-critical thermal power project. However, the quantity of coal to be supplied would be sufficient for only half the unit’s capacity as its boiler is designed to run on an equal blend of domestic and imported coal.
Bridge linkages are temporary fuel supply contracts for electricity generation units which have already been allotted coal blocks that are yet to commence production. The unit has been allotted the Chandrabila coal block, which is expected to start production in FY24.
Under the same bridge linkage structure, Uttar Pradesh’s 1,980 MW Ghatampur plant will also get 0.5 MT of coal in FY21. The three units of the plant, of 660 MW each, are scheduled to be commissioned in November 2020, April 2021 and December 2022, respectively. The plant was allotted the Pachwara South coal block, where excavation is supposed to begin in May 2022.
The committee also allowed NTPC and Coal India another six months to sign the fuel supply agreement for a 500 MW unit at the Unchahar power plant. It has also recommended the extension of existing bridge linkages to NTPC’s 500 MW Barauni Stage-2 plant (Bihar) and Damodar Valley Corporation’s units in Mejia (West Bengal) and Chandrapura (Jharkhand).
NTPC Barauni will receive coal under the bridge linkage till September 2022 — three years from the formal allotment of the Badam coal block in September 2019.