Coal shortage: Govt panel to track power plants stocks

Coal shortage at power plants: Centre constitutes panel to monitor situation

As on August 29, of the total 135 thermal power plants, 73 plants have stocks for 8 days or less

Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

With some of the thermal power plants facing acute shortage of coal, the Ministry of Power has set up a Core Management Team (CMT) comprising representatives from the Ministry of Power, Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and Coal India Limited (CIL) to ensure daily monitoring of the stocks.

Union Power Secretary Alok Kumar, who held a meeting with the CEA and the Ministry of Coal to review the coal supply position, also instructed the power plants to send their requests for priority loading and coal supply issues to the government to enable it to take up the matter with the concerned authorities.

“The government is closely monitoring the current situations of coal stocks in thermal power plants and taking steps to ramp up the supply,” said an official in the Ministry of Power.

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According to the CEA, as on August 29, of the total 135 thermal power plants, 73 plants have stocks for eight days or less. About 50 plants are facing acute shortage of coal with stocks available only for three or even less days.  

In the meeting, it was also decided that if coal stock is available at any power plant for more than 14 days of requirements, then the supply will be regulated for the next seven days. The freed up coal will be supplied to the plants under super critical category first and thereafter critical-category plants, so that an equitable distribution of coal stocks across all power plants is maintained, said an official in the Power Ministry.

The present low coal stocks in certain power stations were encountered due to various reasons including an increase in power demand on account of opening up of the economy throughout the country and less generation from hydropower plants, which is currently being met by the coal-based power generation, the Ministry of Power said in the statement.

The maximum peak demand of 200 GW was observed in July 2021 and now it is hovering around 192-193 GW, it said. Historically, maximum demand is observed in the month of September, the Power Ministry said.

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