Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal talked about the looming power shortage in the national capital recently and the same fate is likely for a few other states in the country.
Kejriwal had tweeted, “Delhi could face a power crisis. I am personally keeping a close watch over the situation. We are trying our best to avoid it. In the meanwhile, I wrote a letter to Hon’ble PM seeking his personal intervention.” Rajasthan govt also announced a daily scheduled power cut for one hour to tackle the situation.
Jharkhand, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh are among the worst affected by the coal shortage. However, the central Coal ministry has issued a statement claiming that there will be no such shortage due to any lack of coals.
Any fear of disruption in power supply is entirely misplaced, a government release claimed. The coal stock at power plant end is about 72 Lakh tonnes, sufficient for 4 days requirement, and that the Coal India Limited (CIL) end is more than 400 Lakh tonnes, which is being supplied to the power plants.
The domestic coal based power generation has grown by nearly 24% in this year (till September 2021) based on a robust supply from the coal companies. The daily average coal requirement at the power plants is about 18.5 Lakh tonnes of coal per day whereas the daily coal supply has been around 17.5 lakh tonnes per day. Due to extended monsoons the despatches were constrained. The coal available at the power plants is a rolling stock which gets replenished by the supplies from the coal companies on a daily basis. Therefore, any fear of coal stocks depleting at the power plant end is erroneous. In fact this year, domestic coal supply has substituted imports by a substantial measure..
Despite heavy rains in the coal field areas, CIL had supplied more than 255 MT coal to power sector in this year which is the highest ever H-1 supply from CIL to power sector. Out of the total coal supply from all sources, present coal supply from CIL to power sector is more than 14 lakh tonnes per day and with the receding rains, this supply has already increased to 15 lakh tonnes and is set to increase to more than 16 lakh tonnes per day by the end of October 2021. The supply from SCCL and captive coal blocks shall contribute to another 3 lakh plus tonnes of coal every day.
Domestic coal supplies have supported power generation in a major way despite heavy monsoons, low coal imports and a steep hike in power demand due to economic recovery. It is expected that coal supplies are set to be a record high in the current financial year.
Due to high international prices of coal, supply of power even under PPAs by import based power plants has reduced by almost 30 % while domestic based power supply has gone up nearly 24 % in H1 of this year. The imported coal based power plants have generated about 25.6 BU against a program of 45.7 BU.
It may be noted that the comfortable coal position in the country is reflected by the fact that the CIL has been supplying more than 2.5 lakh tonnes (apprx.) daily to meet the demand of non power industries like Aluminium, Cement, Steel etc. along with supply of coal to thermal plants of the country.