Maharashtra will not be affected by the five-day nation-wide coal strike, assures power minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule, as the state has stocks for up to five days.
“The coal crisis will not cause any power problem immediately. We have coal stocks for up to five days. The situation might become difficult if the strike entends,” Bawankule.
“We had a meeting on this issue on Monday, and it was found that although we are coal dependent directly, with 40% of our plants running on it, we have stock for five days. The situation was worse last year, but we are improving,” said a power official. Ideally, every power plant should store about 15-day stock at plants.
On Tuesday, the country saw the beginning of a five-day coal industry strike by trade unions, which is likely to impact coal production of up to 1.5 million tonne, a large portion of which is used to fuel supply to power plants. Maharashtra has an installed capacity of 11,237 MW and needs an average of 16,000 MW of electricity.
A combination of improvement in coal supply and the winter season helped Maharashtra tide over the coal strike crisis, which is almost 70% thermal power dependent.
Another factor that will help is the winter where less power is consumed. “During this season we need about 3,000-5,000 MW less power, which makes things easier,” he said.
However, if the strike extends to beyond five days, it could affect the overall generation considering the coal dependent nature of Maharashtra, which is already battling with a shutdown units because of the already existing coal logjam.