Having seen "reduction" in power generation due to short-supply of coal in summer this year, power utility PSPCL has proposed to use imported coal worth Rs 1,552 crore to run its thermal power plants without any "disruption".
In its Aggregate Revenue Requirement (ARR) petition submitted with the power regulator Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) for the fiscal 2015-16, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has "considered the option of importing coal" to meet coal requirements of its thermal power units during next financial year 2015-16.
PSPCL has pointed out that the "short supplies" of coal by Panem coal mines had caused "depletion in its coal stock" at its plants that led to "decrease" in power generation.
Noting that coal supplies from Panem coal mines had been "irregular", PSPCL has claimed the coal supplier supplied 2.5 rakes on an average per day as against linkage of 5 rakes of coal per day during April 2014 till August 2014.
Notably, Punjab government had even sought intervention of the Centre for stepping up coal supplies when coal stock of PSPCL plants reached critical stage.
PSPCL gets coal supplies from Panem Coal mines sourced from its captive mine Pachwara coal block and also from Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) for its three thermal plants.
With landing price quoted at Rs 9,300 per tonne for imported coal, PSPCL has proposed to use imported coal after blending with the domestic coal in the ratio of 82:18 (82 indigenous 18 imported).
The option of blending imported coal with domestic coal has been considered for PSPCL's own Lehra Mohabbat and Ropar thermal power plants.
However, imported coal could not be used in Bathinda thermal plant-- PSPCL's third plant on account of "practical constraints", as per petition.
For Lehra Mohabbat plant, PSPCL has proposed to buy 7.32 lakh tonne of imported coal out of its total coal requirement of 41.07 lakh tonne. The imported coal would cost Rs 683 crore out of total coal cost of Rs 1,965 crore, as per petition.
Similarly for Ropar plant, state-owned power utility has projected to purchase 9.32 lakh tonne of imported coal out of total coal requirement of 52.23 lakh tonne. The imported coal will be costing Rs 869 crore out of total cost of Rs 2,647 crore.
In Bathinda plant, the PSPCL will be using domestic coal worth Rs 664 crore for running the plant.
The combined capacity of PSPCL's three thermal power plants is 2640 MW. In the ARR, PSPCL has projected a hike of 22 per cent in its fuel cost at Rs 5,360 crore for 2015-16.