Two major NTPC plants are running at sub-optimal level due to acute coal shortages following disruption of railway services in Jharkhand's naxalite belt and the power ministry has asked the coal ministry to make alternative arrangements to restore supply.
"Kahalgaon and Farakka thermal power plants are not working for the past 45 days due to Railways bottlenecks," Power Secretary H S Brahma said.
"There is no supply (of coal) from the Rajmahal mines in Jharkhand. We have approached the Coal Ministry to supply coal from other mines to these plants," he said.
Rajmahal coal mines in Jharkhand meets the dry fuel requirements of NTPC's 2,350-MW Kahalgaon and 1,600-MW Farakka plants which require eight and 15 rakes of coal per day respectively. One rake equals to 3,600 metric tonnes.
NTPC is importing nearly 15 million tonnes of coal this fiscal to bridge the shortfall. The company is also exploring the possibility of acquiring stakes in coalmines in Mozambique and South Africa.