Centre cool to State's coal plea

Centre cool to State's coal plea

Centre cool to State's coal plea

As Coal India Limited (CIL), the PSU under the Coal Ministry, which supplies coal to RTPS, has announced it would resort to e-auction system for allocating additional coal, Karnataka now has to bid for getting more coal.

E-auction would entail delay in supply and would also mean that the state has to pay high price for coal as it would have to compete with other states.

Karnataka Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje on Thursday met Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal here and requested for supply of an additional 13,000 tonne coal from CIL immediately to bridge the shortage in the State. She told Jaiswal that due to shortage of coal, RTPS was operating only five of its seven units regularly.

From April till now this year, against the linkage allocation of 14.5 lakh tonne, RTPS has received only 8.87 lakh tonne from Singareni coal fields, the largest supplier of coal to Karnataka. Supply from other coal fields in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha has also dwindled.

Though Jaiswal promised Karandlaje that he would ensure sufficient availability of fossil fuel to Karnataka, he said the state would have bid in the e-auction to be started soon by Coal India Limited (CIL), a state run coal supplier to Indian thermal power stations.  
Despite Karandlaje requesting the coal minister to exempt state public sector undertakings from e-auction, Jaiswal gave her no assurance.

“To ensure greater availability of coal for power and while continuing with 10 per cent availability of coal under e-auction, the coal ministry has decided to offer some of this quantity to the power sector to overcome the temporary crisis of coal supplies in October,” a Coal Ministry official told Deccan Herald.

The coal will be allotted at a notified price on “as is where is basis,” the official said, adding it would be on the power utilities to make own arrangements for lifting the coal.
“In case power sector is not able to lift the coal, the same will be made available for offer through e-auction to other users,”­ it said. E-auction is a process whereby coal is sold at spot market price. Around 10 per cent of the total coal produced by state-run Coal India is sold through e-auction.

A major chunk of India's power generation is from thermal plants that use coal as the main fuel several power generation plants across the country are facing coal problems due to Telangana agitation due to not augmenting of sufficient quantity of in other coal mines due to filling of water following heavy rain.

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