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States should ask gencos to ensure timely imports of coal: Power minister

According to the power ministry, directions have also been issued to all gencos (power generation companies) asking them to place import orders well in time.

he gencos shall ensure blending with imported coal and maintain coal stock as per extant norms and the directions issued by the ministry from time to time, the ministry stated.

Union power minister R K Singh has asked several states to direct electricity generation companies to ensure timely imports of coal for blending purposes so as to meet the requirements during the monsoon season.

According to the power ministry, directions have also been issued to all gencos (power generation companies) asking them to place import orders well in time.
The ministry has clarified that if orders for coal imports are not placed by May 31, 2022 and the imported fuel does not start arriving at power plants by June 15, the defaulter gencos will have to increase their imports to the extent of 15 per cent.

The ministry had earlier advised state gencos to import 10 per cent of coal of their requirement for blending purposes. States were advised to place orders by May 31, 2022 so that delivery of 50 per cent quantity is ensured by June 30, 2022.

“Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy R K Singh has written to states that state gencos may be asked to take immediate steps to import coal for blending in order to meet their requirement during monsoon season.

“In separate letters to Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and West Bengal, he has expressed concern that tender process for coal import has either not started or not completed in these states,” the power ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

The minister has also said that state gencos may lift the entire quantity of coal offered under RCR mode expeditiously to build coal stock. In case of failure on either account, it would not be possible to give additional domestic coal to make up for the shortfall.

“If RCR (Rail-Cum-Road) allocation is not lifted, it will be allocated to other needy state gencos, and if present state of affairs continues, it may lead to shortage of coal in states during monsoon, adversely affecting the power supply situation in the states,” Singh said.

Due to higher demand and consumption of electricity, the share of coal-based generation has risen and the total coal consumption by power plants has also increased. He added that materialisation of domestic coal is only about 88 per cent of total requirements.

In a separate statement, the ministry informed that directions have also been issued to all gencos, including Independent Power Producers (IPPs), for timely import of coal for blending purposes.

“Not much blending has taken place in the months of April and May 2022. The power plants which have not started blending yet will ensure that they blend coal at the rate of 15 per cent up to October 2022 and thereafter at the rate of 10 per cent from November 2022 to March 2023,” the ministry said.

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