Transportation hurdle leading to coal crisis at power units

Ashis Sinha/Bokaro: Transportation hurdle leads to coal crisis at several thermal power units, which hits power productions not only in Jharkhand but across to country too. Several units of the thermal power plants are running less than half of its production capacity due to the scarcity of Coal. Many units were operating with only one or two days stock of coal.

The power plants in the state are not getting the adequate supply of coal which leading to power shortage, could face closure, if immediate steps are not taken, said a DVC official on anonymity. Coal crisis erupted to the power units since after railway minimized the railway rakes for transportation of coal and stopped transportation for short distances, he said.

A few months (July- August) earlier Ministry of Railway issued a directive stating not to provide rail rack for transportation of coal within the 60-kilometer radius from the mines to the power units, informed the official.

It is estimated that earlier more than 300 rakes were deployed by the Indian Railway for the transportation of coal which is now reduced to about 200 rakes, and stopped to provide rakes within the 60 kms distance of mines, severely impact on the stock of coal at the power units, he said.

According to an estimate, the daily consumption of coal is 3200 MT for a 250 MW power plant (thermal) to run in full swing and it needs 96000 MT coal as stock, informed an official of CTPS.

After the directive of the railway now, power units have only alternative to get the supply of coal through road or trucks, which could not be able to maintain the adequate stock to run the units smoothly, he said.

Presently, coal stock at power units could only be maintained when supplied through rakes, said he official

The other main issue is the availability of truck as for transportation of coal from mines it is essential that trucks should be equipped with GPS and other tracking systems which numbers are less.

Notably, coal crisis hits power production in several thermal power units across the Jharkhand too. DVCs Bokaro Thermal Power Station (BTPS) and  Chandrapurta  Thermal Power Station (CTPS), Tenughat Thermal Power Plant (TTPS A government of Jharkhand undertaking unit), Bokaro Power Supply Company Private Limited (BPSCL) including others are facing severe coal shortage and are running at less than half-a-days stocks.

We are struggling hard; the stock of the coal is very less at TTPS yard, said S Singh in-charge TVNL.

TVNL is the only thermal power unit of the Jharkhand government having power production capacity of 420 MW (210 X 2) now producing only 180 MW per day and several parts of the district are reeling under an acute power crisis.

Both units require 7,500 metric tonnes of coal per day to run in full swing.

DVCs several units including CTPS is also reeling under coal shortage. We have stock of coal for three days to run both units, informed PRO of CTPS. Presently both units are running on stocked coal as we are not getting coal supply through rakes (rail), he added.

The units could face closure if we did not get the coal stock within the stipulated period, he said.

The conditions are same at BTPS; we have only for two days stock of coal, said an official.

The new unit having power production capacity of 500 MW require 7,000 metric tonnes of coal per day to run in full swing while the other unit of power production capacity 210 MW needs 3,000 metric tonnes of coal per day to run in full swing, he said.

The coal stock at BPSCL is also low; unit failing to keep pace with the demand producing 80 – 90 MW instead of 200 MW as coal crisis pertains to them, official sources said.

The erratic power supply has severely hit production activities, affected the industrial belts located in the outskirts the towns. Most of the small and medium industrial units could not start production due to frequent tripping during the past fifteen days.

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