‘Undue’ Central Pressure On States To Import Coal

Representational pic

‘Undue’ Central Pressure On States To Import Coal

Power engineers say coal crisis due to 3 ministries mess-up

AIPEF says the generation cost would shoot by around one rupee per unit by blending fuel with 10% imported coal

LUCKNOW, May 18 (The CONNECT) - All-India Power Engineers Association has accused Centre of pressuring States to import coal to tide over the electricity supply crisis.

The Centre should bear the additional cost on imports because the States are not to blame for the crisis, Association chairman Shailendra Dube said.

He pointed out that the landing cost of imported coal at power plants works out to Rs 13,000 per tonne against the domestic one that costs Rs 10,000 a tonne. The cost generation could go up to 80 paise to Rs 1.10 per unit.

Dube was aghast that the Union Power Ministry has warned the States of 5% domestic supply cut, forcing them to import 15% of the requirement. Currently, the Centre’s advice to State Gencos is to blend the fuel with 10% imported coal. The Ministry gave an ultimatum to States to complete the process of coal import by May end and start blending with domestic coal by June 15 or face the quota cut.

This amounts to applying undue pressure on States to import coal, he pointed out.

The Centre says that Coal India’s production has gone up. At the same time, it pressurises States to go for imported coal. This proves the Centre’s determination to go for imported coal, Dube argued.

He pointed out that the 108 coal-fired power plants have 25% less than the normative stock and this is a critical stage.

Citing the rail rake shortage as one of the causes of coal supply not reaching Gencos, Dube wondered as to how imported stock could reach the States, thousands of kilometres away from ports.

He blamed the lack of coordination among power, coal and rail ministries for the current crisis and hence the States should not be burdened with the extra cost of using imported coal. The centre must bear this additional expenditure, the association added.

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