Andhra Pradesh power plants running out of coal stocks, CM sends SOS to PM Modi

The chief minister said the power demand increased by 15% in the last six months and by 20% in the last one month
Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. (File photo)
Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. (File photo)
Updated on Oct 09, 2021 09:29 AM IST
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With Andhra Pradesh heading for a severe power crisis due to a sharp decline in generation in the power plants in the state, chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday sent a virtual SOS to the Centre, requesting urgent allotment of coal and revival of defunct coal-fired power plants.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday evening, the chief minister said the power demand increased by 15% in the last six months and by 20% in the last one month, coupled with a coal shortage.

“The power generation stations operated by AP power generation corporation (APGenco), which meet about 45% of state’s energy needs, have coal stocks hardly sufficient for one or two days. The coal-based power plants are operating at less than 50% of their 90 MU/day capacity because of coal shortages. Even the Central Generating Stations have not been able to supply more than 75% of their 40 MU/day capacity,” he said.

Jagan said the state had to depend heavily on market purchases for sourcing its shortfall energy. The daily average market price of about 40 MU/day power has increased three times, from an average of 4.6 per unit (kilowatt-hour) on September 15 to a daily average of 15 per unit on Friday.

“On some days, the rates in the power market have gone up to 20 per unit irrespective of peak or off-peak hours. The power is also not available at certain hours in the market due to less availability of generation in the country,” he said.

The chief minister describing it as an alarming situation and said the finances of distribution companies would deteriorate further if the situation persists. CM Jagan said it had become increasingly difficult to meet the grid demand and the circumstances are pushing the state towards load shedding.

“More water is required in the last stage of harvesting and if it is denied, fields would dry up and farmers stand to lose. Unplanned power cuts once resorted to, will lead to chaotic conditions,” he pointed out.

Seeking the Centre’s help to tide over the power crisis, Jagan said the coal ministry and railways might be directed to allot 20 coal rakes to AP thermal stations. He suggested that the stranded and non-working pit-head coal plants in India without PPAs or coal linkage may be revived on an emergency basis.

“Deep-water well gas available with ONGC and Reliance may be supplied on an emergency basis to the 2300 MW stranded and non-working gas-based power plants in AP. Similarly, the deficit of nearly 500 MW from Central Generating Stations due to plant maintenance can be bridged by reviving the plants at the earliest or postponing their maintenance,” he suggested.

Jagan also requested that banks and lending institutions be instructed to provide working capital loans liberally to power distribution companies to make coal payments and undertake market purchases till the crisis is overcome.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Srinivasa Rao is Senior Assistant Editor based out of Hyderabad covering developments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana . He has over three decades of reporting experience.

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Monday, January 17, 2022