All India Power Engineers Federation questions fresh instructions on coal import
All India Power Engineers Federation chairman Shailendra Dubey said that till adequate arrangements were made to transport domestic coal to the power stations, it should be clarified as to how imported coal would reach the thermal power stations from the ports
All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has raised questions on the Union power ministry’s fresh instructions to the state government and the private sector thermal power plants to import foreign coal to increase the depleting coal supply.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, All India Power Engineers Federation chairman Shailendra Dubey said that till adequate arrangements were made to transport domestic coal to the power stations, it should be clarified by the ministry as to how imported coal would reach the thermal power stations from the ports.
According to him, in a letter by the Union power ministry on April 28, it has asked to import 22.049 million tonnes of coal for thermal power stations in the state and 15.936 million tonnes for private sector power stations.
“On one hand, the Union power ministry is pressuring the state government thermal power plants to import coal,” Duey said.
On the other hand, no instructions have been given in the letter to some private thermal power plants, which run on imported coal, he added.
The names of these power stations, he added, were also not mentioned in the ministry’s letter whereas some of these power stations were on the sea coast and it was easiest for them to get imported coal. “These power stations are closed after the price of imported coal has increased in the international market,” he said.
He said on one hand Coal India was claiming that it had produced 15.6% more coal than last year, yet this coal was not reaching power stations due to lack of railway rakes.
“Passenger trains are being cancelled across the country, yet coal is not reaching. In such a situation, even if coal is imported, in the absence of railway rakes from the ports, how will this coal reach the thermal power stations is a big question,” Dubey said.
According to the order issued by the Union ministry of power, all thermal power stations have to issue purchase orders for imported coal by May 31, 2022 and 50% delivery by June 30, 2022, 40% by August 31, 2022 and the remaining 10% delivery is to be ensured by October 31, 2022.
“From this, it appears that the coal crisis is very serious and it is yet to go on for several months,” he said.
“Anpara Thermal Power Station of Uttar Pradesh State Power Generation has been given a target of importing 8,53,000 tonnes and Obra, Harduaganj and Parichha thermal power stations to import 12,86,000 tonnes of coal,” Dubey said.