Coal crisis hits electricity generation at Bellary unit

Coal crisis hits electricity generation at Bellary unit

The second unit of the Bellary Thermal Power Station (BTPS) has stopped generating power within a few days of its inauguration.

The second unit of the BTPS, which began full-fledged power generation on August 27, is now facing a coal shortage. For the last 10 days, the power generation has been completely halted. The second unit, which has a production capacity of 500 megawatt of power, requires 7,200 metric tonnes of coal to be supplied every day. Besides, an additional storage of coal for a minimum of 10 days is required.

But at present, only 3,600 tonnes of coal is being supplied daily and hence, power generation has halted, G Rathnamma, Executive Director of the station, told Deccan Herald.

After the second unit began generating power from August 27, the first unit halted production for a month for annual maintenance. It was only about 10 days ago that the first unit resumed power generation. And now, the second unit had to be halted due to lack of coal, she said.

The second unit used to generate around 300 MW of power every day and was about to reach 500 MW of power soon. However, the shortage of coal hindered the unit’s generation capacity even before it reached its maximum, she said.

If both the units function and generate 500 MW of power everyday, then they would be in a position to meet at least 20 per cent of the State’s demand for power. But so far, it has not been able possible to generate power, simultaneously in both the units.

The BTPS entered into an agreement with the Union government’s Coal India, for the supply of coal from the Mahanandi Coal Limited mines at Odisha, for its two units.

After a delay of five months, only when the supply of coal was assured, the second unit started power generation from August. The second unit, built at a cost of Rs 1,650 crore, was generating power on an experimental basis, since March 23.

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