Darker days ahead for State

Darker days ahead for State

Darker days ahead for State

If Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje’s Saturday’s statement is an indication, the present crisis will not only continue for another month, but will escalate. Karandlaje, who attended the department’s review meeting chaired by Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda in Bangalore on Saturday, told the media that the department will announce the schedule on Monday.

She said a delegation from the state will meet Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Coal Minister Sriparakash Jaiswal in New Delhi on October 14 to find ways for tackling the crisis. 

Karandlaje said she will submit a memorandum to the Union Railway Ministry to arrange for coal supply from Nagpur, Maharashtra and Orissa through alternate rail routes to the Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS)until the Telangana agitation, which had blocked coal supply to the station, subsided.

The RTPS gets coal mainly from Singareni coal fields besides a limited quantum from Empta of West Bengal, Western Coal Fields of Nagpur, and Mahanadi Coal Fields of Odisha. It also uses imported coal from Indonesia and a few other countries. Except for coal from the Western Coal Fields, the rest of the supply has to pass through Andhra Pradesh to reach the State. Transporting coal through other rail routes is expensive. 

The minister said apart from coal requirement for RTPS and Bellary Thermal Power Station (BTPS), there was additional requirement of coal for proposed projects. “A few suggestions have been made in the meeting to address the situation. I am hopeful that the problem will be resolved shortly,” Gowda said.

The chief minister also said that he was yet to get a reply from the Power and Coal ministries for his letters seeking 10,000 MT of coal and 500 MW of allocated power.
Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL) managing director Yogendra Tripathi said that apart from the present stock of 1.15 lakh tonnes of coal at the RTPS, the corporation was getting about 12,000 to 15,000 tonnes of coal from the Western Coal Fields Ltd.

“As per today’s calculations, RTPS can generate power for another three weeks from its five units,” he said. Each unit of the RTPS consumes nearly 3,000 tonnes of coal per day for peak output. Of the total eight units, only five units are functioning.
Substandard coal supply and poor maintenance has been posing problem for the authorities to generate power from all the five units.
Ideal stock position

The ideal stock position for a month should be seven lakh tonnes to run all the eight units. If the stock is about three to four lakh tonnes, the generation can be maintained without much problem.

The department of energy has managed to supply around 146.32 MU of energy. While 47.55 MU was accrued from hydro stations, the department supplied 19.02 MU of energy by importing it. The Bellary thermal plant, which generates 500 MW, and the Udupi Power Corporation Limited (UPCL)have shut down their operations for annual maintenance.

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