The private thermal plants in the state have again disturbed Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) plans of providing uninterrupted power supply to consumers, forcing it to impose power cuts as early as May.
The 1,400MW Larsen & Toubro Rajpura Thermal Power Plant is not generating power for the past six days and one unit of the Talwandi Sabo Power Plant is non-operational since April 18 due to snag in a boiler tube. This has led to shortage of nearly 2,000MW. The PSPCL has also asked the Talwandi Sabo plant management for early restoration of power generation.
The power corporation on Monday imposed one to three-hour power cuts in the rural areas and an hour's cut in the urban areas of the state as there was a gap of 10 lakh units in demand and supply.
Short of coal, the power corporation had decided to rely on private plants for power generation this year so it could store coal by cutting down the operation of its plants and run them to full capacity during the peak paddy sowing season. Currently, the PSPCL has coal to run its plants for 28 days. However, the shutdown of the private plants has forced to the PSPCL to run its plants to meet the power demand.
The power corporation is banking on coal supplies from Coal India Limited and other government-run companies as the coal mine allocated to the state is still not operational.
The PSPCL had also faced coal crisis last year as a private company engaged to operate the mine had cut down the supplies forcing the power corporation to shut down its plants.
"The Punjab government has already sent an SOS to the Union government for additional coal supplies till its mine becomes operational. Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has apprised the Union coal and power ministries about the coal shortage," said a PSPCL official.