The 3,400-MW coal-fired unit of Jindal Power at Tanmar, Chhattisgarh, is running at a fourth of its installed capacity due to the want of adequate raw materials and enough buyers. To salvage the situation, the company has expedited plans to sign power purchase agreements (PPAs) with different states.
The unit’s problems started following the deallocation of the Gare Palma IV/II & IV/III mines in Chhattisgarh that used to feed it. Apart from assured buyers, the PPAs will help the company ink fuel supply agreements (FSAs) with Coal India and thus, ensure steady supply of the fuel.
JPL had started the 4X250 MW capacity at Tanmar in 2008. It added another 4X600 MW capacity in phases. While one unit of 600 MW is yet to be operational, the remaining 2,800 MW capacity is being run at a plant load factor of just 30%, company sources said. At peak level in 2012, the company used to operate the unit at a PLF of 78.5%.
The PLF for the coal-based plant has been progressively declining over the last three years owing to scarcity of fuel and inability of financially stressed discoms to procure power. The national average PLF in last three years — 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 — is 73.32%, 69.93% and 65.55%, respectively.
“We are not in a position to run the plant in full capacity due to coal scarcity. We are also not getting enough buyers,” said Ram Niwas, president, JPL. The deallocation of the mine has also trebled its cost of coal to R2.4 per unit. The mine was connected with the plant through a conveyor belt and hence, the cost of transportation has also gone up.
The company did not comment on the losses the unit was incurring due to unutilised capacity on a daily basis.
However, JPL is not alone, there are a lot of power generation capacity has remained idle due to shortage of coal and for want of buyer.
The company has PPAs with Tamil Nadu for 200 MW of power and is in discussions with states like UP, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana for entering into such pacts. A PPA with the Kerala government is imminent. JPL is currently sourcing coal from SSCL and taking part in the e-auction of CIL. It believes that the signing of PPAs with different states would meet its future raw material need, in case it does not get a captive mine.