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With coal shortage, state struggles to meet summer power demand

Rajasthan, which is facing power shortage due to scarcity of coal, is at present using ad hoc measures to tide over the crisis and revive the thermal units that had to be shut down due to technical reasons

jaipur Updated: Apr 21, 2018 22:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Rajasthan News
With the onset of summer, Rajasthan’s daily demand of electricity has surged to about 15,000 MW, while the coal stock in power plants in the state is in critical state.(HT File)

Rajasthan, which is facing power shortage due to scarcity of coal, is at present using ad hoc measures to tide over the crisis and revive the thermal units that had to be shut down due to technical reasons.

Earlier this week, there was power shortage of about 4,000 MW that prompted the discoms to announce a power cut schedule. However, the decision was withdrawn after a 600 MW unit of Adani Corporation started production and the discoms also managed to revive 250 MW in Suratgarh and some other units that had tripped.

With the onset of summer, the state’s daily demand of electricity has surged to about 15,000 MW, while the coal stock in power plants in the state is in critical state. At present, around 5,000 MW power of coal based electricity is being produced in Rajasthan while other sources including hydro, solar and wind contribute to the rest.

The Rajasthan Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (RUVNL) is purchasing power from the exchange and has also received 600 MW from its quantum of URS (un-requisitioned surplus power). A 600 MW thermal unit in Kalisindh is also expected to go on stream soon.

“We are somehow managing the situation but ideally would like a regular supply of coal. Many coal-based power plants in Rajasthan are running short of coal, while on an average they should have a critical stock for 20 days. While some more units will be revived soon, in the meantime we are purchasing power from the exchange and also using URS,” RUVNL managing director R.K Srivastava said.

Rajasthan Vidyut Utpadan Nigam officials are blaming delay in transportation of coal by Coal India Ltd for the shortage. The large capacity power plants in Chhabra and Kota are reeling under the delay in supply by the Coal India limited. The situation is better in some other power plants such as Kalisindh that are supplied coal from Chhattisgarh. "The power ministry officials have held meetings with Coal India officials in New Delhi, but there is no clarity as to when the normal supply will be resumed," an RVUN official said.

Rajasthan is heavily dependent on thermal plants to meet its power demand. There are eight coal based power plants across the state, and the only power plants (Barsingsar and Rajras) that are based on lignite coal generated domestically in the state are functioning properly apart from the one in Kalisindh that is supplied coal by Chhattisgarh.

The condition of coal stock in the plants is almost same since last 8-10 months, however, that time it was being managed easily as the power demand was less.

First Published: Apr 21, 2018 22:28 IST