The standoff between Punjab powerutility PSPCL and Panem Coal Mines was resolved today with power discom deciding to accept demands of the coal supplier to ensure normal coal supply to its own thermal units.
With this, the coal supply to PSPCL plants will be fully restored.
"With the efforts of management and officers of PSPCL, the issue of coal supply has been resolved with Panem and normal coal supply has been assured by the firm from today," Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) Chairman and Managing Director K D Chaudhri said today.
Chaudhri said that PSPCL had agreed to pay Rs. 6 crore interest bearing advance on daily basis and interest bearing Rs. 100 per metric tonne to Panem Coal Mines.
However, he claimed that paying higher charges to Panem Coal Mines would not result in any financial burden on power consumers.
Panem Coal Mines had suspended coal supply to PSPCL's three thermal power plants, Ropar, Bathinda and Lehra Mohabbat on April 11, which led to "less generation" of power, forcing the PSPCL to buy short term power at "higher" rate and imposing "unscheduled" power cuts.
PSPCL had said in its petition that it could generate only 800 MW of power at its three own power plants at Ropar, Bathinda and Lehra Mohabbat because of suspension of coal supply by Panem Coal Mines.
Coal supplier had been demanding price revision, clearance of outstanding dues, advance payment against railway freight and Rs. 100 per tonne advance for coal supply from captive coal mine--Pachwara coal block in Pakur district in Jharkhand.
However, later it had partially restored coal supply.
Panem Coal Mines supplies 7 million tonne of coal to PSPCL's thermal units, which accounts for 60 per cent of power utility's requirements.
Chaudhri claimed that three thermal units of PSPCL would now get normal supply of coal which is 6 coal rakes per day.
PSEB Engineers Association had even sought probe from Punjab government into allegedly giving "undue benefits" to coal supplier by power utility PSPCL, saying it would force energy consumers to pay more for electricity in the state.
PSPCL CMD accused few vested interests of spreading misinformation about coal shortage and interruptions in power supply.
He said, "the fact is that PSPCL has been maintaining uninterrupted power supply to all category of consumers."