CIL said 12.6 million tonne of coal had been supplied to the Tamil Nadu state power generation corporation till January, 2019, against the 16.6 MT it was supposed to receive.
State-owned miner Coal India Ltd (CIL) said power plants based in Tamil Nadu have received lower supply of the fuel against their respective contracted quantities mainly due to logistics problems in the rail-cum-sea route and mismatch between the requisition placed by its subsidiaries and wagon supplied by Indian Railways.
CIL said 12.6 million tonne of coal had been supplied to the Tamil Nadu state power generation corporation till January, 2019, against the 16.6 MT it was supposed to receive. “Frequent law and order problems in Talcher fields of Mahanadi Coal Fields” also contributed to the supply gap, CIL said. Nevertheless, coal supplied to the state has increased 12% annually, the miner added.
In a review meeting recently held here to map the progress of various schemes under the Union power ministry, Tamil Nadu had complained about rising power purchase costs stemming from coal shortage, as it had to resort to buying electricity from the spot market at higher rates in absence of coal at its power plants. The state purchased 379 million units of electricity from the exchanges in December, 283% more than the volume procured a year ago.
Coal-based power generation has grown 4.8% year-on-year (y-o-y) in the first 10 months of FY19. In the same period, coal supply to power plants have increased by more than 7% to 401.2 MT. The number of railway rakes allotted to the power sector stands around 253 rakes/day, 13% higher than the same period of last year.
However, dispatch of coal from the mines of CIL has fallen in December and January, when the company supplied 52.8 MT and 52.4 MT, recording annual reductions of 1.2% and 2.3%, respectively. Power plants across the country had imported 5.5 MT coal in December 2018, a rise of about 15% y-o-y.
Given the surge in power demand during the summer season, the power ministry has asked the coal and railway ministries to ensure sufficient fuel supplies to the power plants, irrespective of the quantities they are contractually entitled to, so that they can run at full capacity utilisation levels.