Power crisis in State worsens

Power crisis in State worsens

T-stir halts AP coal supply to gen units

Power crisis in State worsens

The daily demand for power supply is 160 million units, while the present availability is just 140 MU.

The crisis is likely to continue for some more days. Short supply of coal for the thermal power generation units in the State caused by the workers of Singareni Collieries Limited responding to the call of Telangana agitators to stop work, is likely to continue for some more time affecting generation within the State.

The State’s power generating company - Karnataka Power Corporation Limited - is under severe pressure to increase generation from hydel projects. Given the increased dependence on hydel units, prospects for the summer months are likely to be bleaker.

According to sources in the power sector, the situation worsened over the last five days as not a single rake of coal reached any of the thermal power stations in the State, forcing the power utilities to scout for sources to to purchase additional power.

The thermal stations have almost come to a grinding halt due to the coal crisis. Of the total eight units in Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS), only five are operational. Three units with a capacity of 210 mw each have shut down, while the sole unit operational at Bellary Thermal Power Station (BTPS) and Udupi Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) with capacity of 500 mw and 600 mw respectively, have also been non-functional, according to official sources.

Though energy minister Shobha Karandlaje has put the shortage at 1,500 mw, officials on condition of anonymity said the shortfall is likely is likely to be at least 2,000 MW, forcing unscheduled load shedding on consumers of all categories. Despite the crisis, the power supplying companies are not going in for scheduled load shedding, worsening the inconvenience caused to consumers.

With the daily supply hovering around 140 MU against the demand for additional 20 MU, the power utilities have resorted to unscheduled load-shedding for about 3-4 hours for all consumers in Bangalore City. The three-phase power supply has been reduced to a couple of hours. Fortunately, consumption by irrigation pumpsets for agriculture has not gone up as many districts have received heavy rainfall.

Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) said they were forced to disconnect supply to different localities in the City by rotation. “We are trying to manage the power situation by disconnecting the powerlines for two feeders at any given time. The rotation invariably falls on a hourly basis,” said an official.

So grim is the situation that Bescom was on Tuesday bidding for 200 MW from the central grid. The rate quoted per unit was Rs 4.50.

Power Play

*Coal scarcity creates a demand and supply gap by about 2000 megawatt
* Five units of RTPS, one unit of   UPCL and BTPS stops generation
* Hydel Power contributes 40-45 million units to the State grid
* Not a single rake of coal was received by the State Power Units

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