October 26th, 2011
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Coal shortage; power situation grim

New Delhi: India’s 32 Thermal Power plants are facing acute shortage as coal supplies to these plants are dwindling. Power plants are operating with less than four days of supplies. India’s power situation can turn grim in the next few days.

The latest estimates suggest that nine stations, including NTPC’s 2,000 MW Singrauli and 3,260 MW Vindhyachal super thermal stations and the Damodar Valley Corporation’s 2,340 MW Mejia in West Bengal, are left with a day’s stock or less. Incidentally, the coal stock position on October 19, the latest date for which this information has been made available, has been the worst since the beginning of the current month.

The Coal Ministry however claims  that coal companies had stepped up dispatches to key thermal stations. According to the latest data, stations with less than a week’s coal stock have risen to a record 51, up from 36 at the beginning of the month. Also, out of the 86 major thermal stations monitored for their coal stock position, 32 were operating with stocks of less than four days. The 51 stations that have less than a week’s coal stock add up to a cumulative power generating capacity of well over two-thirds of the country’s total installed coal-fired capacity of 99,503 MW.

Thermal stations are normally expected to hold coal stocks for between 15 and 30 days, depending on their location. While pithead stations are expected to hold stocks of 15 days or more, stations located away from the mine are expected to hold coal stocks for 21 to 30 days.


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