CHANDIGARH: PSPCL has agreed to purchase 500 MW power from from Tata Power’s imported coal-based power plant at Mundra in Gujarat for one week at Rs 5.50 per unit from October 12 to October 19.
PSPCL officials claim that this is only an intermediary arrangement looking into the power shortage in Punjab. PSPCL hopes that with the supply of an adequate number of coal rakes, the power position will improve next week. It may be mentioned that in 2007, Tata Power won the bid for the Mundra Ultra Mega Power Plant (UMPP) at a price of Rs 2.90 per unit for supply of 450 MW power to Punjab. Gujarat has also agreed to purchase 1800 MW from Tata Mundra at Rs.4.50 for a period of 4 weeks.
The power supply in Punjab continues to be in short supply and power cut of three to eight hours are being imposed on a different set of consumers. The daily power shortage in the state for the last one week is about 1000 MW. On Tuesday restricted power supply in the state was 1865 lakh units with a shortage of more than 150 lakh units. The power purchase made by the PSPCL was 259 lakh units @ Rs. 14.56 per unit.
The coal stock at Ropar and Lehra Mohabatt is sufficient for 2.6 and 1.9 days respectively. No coal has been received at Ropar and Lehra Mohabatt on Tuesday. 14 rakes received at private plants. Rajpura thermal has 2.4 days stock, Talwandi Sabo has 2 days stock and GVK has 1.5 days stock.
Meanwhile, coal secretary Anil Kumar Jain in his letter to CIL has blamed it for not meeting production and off-take targets. During the financial year 2021-22 (Till 21 Sept), against a coal production target of 260.4 MT, actual coal production is 237.35 MT. Similarly against the coal off-take target of 351.04 MT, the actual coal off-take is 293.10 MT, with a huge deficit of 58 MT. This has led o a huge shortage of coal in the powerhouses.
V K Gupta spokesperson All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) said that most of India’s coal-fired power plants have critically low levels of coal inventory at a time when the economy is picking up and fueling electricity demand.
The power demand has increased in the last two months. Coal accounts for around 70% of India’s electricity generation.
According to the central electricity authority ( CEA ) latest data, the coal stock situation in thermal power stations shows that 116 of 135 thermal plants in the country are facing a “critical or supercritical” shortage of coal. More than half of these plants have stocks worth two days or fewer.