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COAL STOCKS AT POWER PLANTS LOWEST IN 25 YEARS: CEA

egNEW DELHI: Fuel stockpiles at the thermal power stations hit a new low in 25 years at 7.2 million tonnes, as Coal India and its subsidiaries failed to meet their production targets, as per latest official data.

 

According to latest data (October 13) by the Central Electricity Authority, total fuel stocks at 103 coal-based stations have come down to 7.2 million tonnes. This 7.2 million tonnes comprise 6.58 million tonnes of indigenous coal and 706 tonnes of imported fuel.

 

“This is the lowest in 25 years. The last time it hit a low was in 2010 when it was 7.8 million tonnes,” an official in the Ministry of Power told PTI.

 

“Coal India’s production is not in line with the demand of the power sector and its subsidiaries NCL (Northern Coalfields Ltd), ( Central Coalfields Ltd) etc are not producing coal as per their respective targets,” the official said when asked about the reason for low stock piles.

 

As many as 61 thermal power stations are grappling with critical coal shortage with less than a week’s stock at their disposal. The country’s largest thermal power producer NTPC is battling with 0-1 day of stocks at some of its plants.

 

The company’s generating stations with nil stocks include Indira Gandhi thermal plant in Haryana, Rihand, Singrauli and Tanda in Uttar Pradesh and Vindhayachal in Madhya Pradesh, CEA data said.

 

According to the official, NTPC is generating lesser than full capacity at some of these power plants.

 

Of the 61 plants with less than seven days of fuel stocks left, 36 stations are reeling under acute shortage with less than four days of stockpiles at their disposal. Asked when the situation will improve, the official said that it could be in a couple of weeks because of improvement in weather. The power demand will come down as winters are approaching and this will reduce the impact of low stocks.

 

He added that the real solution lay with the Coal India which will have to meet its production targets and increase its capacity. CEA, the techno-economic clearance body under the Ministry of Power, is also engaged in setting generation targets and other milestones for the power utilities.

(Source: The Economic Times, October 17, 2014)

 

POWER MINISTRY ASSURES PM MODI OF UNINTERRUPTED ELECTRICITY DESPITE LACK OF COAL SUPPLY

 

NEW DELHI: The power ministry has assured the Prime Minister that electricity supply will not be affected due to nonavailability of coal from the blocks whose allotment was quashed by the Supreme Court last month even as the ministry promised to maximise generation from other sources.

 

“As far as supplying coal to these power projects after coal blocks’ deallocation is concerned, the ministry will need to formulate a policy for giving appropriate coal linkage or coal block (through auction) to their end use power projects in consultation with the ministry of power,” the ministry wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) earlier this month.

 

The ministry added that since the Supreme Court has given six months’ time to the coal block allottees, power supply is not likely to be immediately affected due to non-availability of coal from these blocks.

 

The PMO had sought a plan of action to ensure thermal power plants in public and private sector are not stranded due to lack of coal. However, the ministry did not suggest any plans or alternatives immediately.

(Source: The Economic Times, October 17, 2014)

 

PRIVATE POWER COMPANIES TO MEET FINANCE MINISTRY OFFICIALS TODAY

 

NEW DELHI: Private sector power producers will meet Finance Ministry officials tomorrow to discuss ways to unclog projects worth Rs 5 lakh crore that are stuck due to factors like fuel supply constraints.

 

“As many as 1,00,000 MW of both coal and gas based projects are suffering due to raw material shortage and have time and cost overruns due to which Rs 5 lakh crore investment in the sector is stuck,” Ashok Khurana, Director General, Association of Power Producers’ (APP) said.

 

APP represents 20 private power generation companies. The meeting is expected to address issues affecting projects which have cost and time overruns, plants where there are under recoveries of fixed and variable cost and the projects which do not have PPAs ( power purchase agreements).

 

“We are hoping to find some solution to our problems,” Khurana said, adding that the sector is in a limbo due to coal and gas shortage.

 

As per latest official data, 61 thermal power stations of the total 103 projects are grappling with critical coal shortage with less than a week’s stock at their disposal.

 

State-run NTPC’s generating stations with nil stocks include Indira Gandhi thermal plant in Haryana, Rihand, Singrauli and Tanda in Uttar Pradesh and Vindhayachal in Madhya Pradesh.

 

As many as 8,500 MW gas-based power plants are stranded due to fuel shortage. NTPC, which has gas-based plants of around 4,000 MW, is running the stations at less than 40 per cent capacity.

(Source: The Economic Times, October 17, 2014)

 

 

CESC TO HELP ANDHRA PRADESH RESTORE POWER

 

MYSORE: Mysore-headquartered Chamundeswari Electricity Supply Company (CESC) has taken up the restoration of power supply in the hurricane Hudhud-affected areas of Andhra Pradesh. It has supplied 32 capacity distribution transformers, extending its help in restoring power supply to Visakapatnam and other affected areas.

 

Two teams, headed by assistant executive engineers Sunilkumar and Shankar left for Andhra Pradesh yesterday to help Andhra Pradesh in its task to restore the affected power supply systems.

 

CESC said today more staff will be deputed depending upon requirement for speedy restoration. “It wishes to extend assistance for the early restoration of all essential systems in Andhra Pradesh,” it added.

(Source: Business Standard, October 17, 2014)

 

NORMS FOR 3,000 MW SOLAR PROJECTS RELEASED

 

CHENNAI: In a revamped National Solar Mission (NSM) programme, the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has now come out with draft guidelines for setting up 3,000 MW of solar PV projects under Tranche-I. Earlier planned allocation of 1,500 MW under batch II of phase II is reported to have been cancelled.

 

The proposed 3,000 MW Solar PV projects will be implemented by NVVN (NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam) on Solar Parks to be developed through association of Central and State agencies.

 

Under Part-I of Tranche-1 scheme, which seeks suggestions and comments from all stakeholders by October 30, a capacity of 1,000 MW of the grid-connected solar projects to be developed at a solar park in Andhra Pradesh (AP), said the document.

 

Of the 1,000 MW, a capacity 250 MW is reserved for bidding with domestic content requirement. The individual project size has been decided at 50 MW and a single group (including its subsidiaries and associates) can apply for a maximum of five projects. The power produced by these projects will be bundled with coal power and sold to utilities by NVVN. The tariff will be determined through a reverse bidding process. The allocation process is expected to commence in December.

 

Meanwhile, the MNRE has now proposed to add a more ambitious solar PV capacity of 15,000 MW in three tranches under Batch II of phase II of NSM. Under Tranche-I, it has planned to add 3,000 MW (2014-15 to 2016-17), while Tranche-II envisages addition of 5,000 MW (2015-16 to 2017-18). Tranche-III will see the programme targeting 7,000 MW (2016-17 to 2018-19).

(Source: The Hindu, October 17, 2014)

 

GOVT KEEPS CIL IN LIMBO OVER TRANSFER OF 42 MINES

 

KOLKATA: The world’s largest coal miner, Coal India (CIL), is stuck in a limbo with the coal ministry remaining undecided over the modalities of transferring 42 de-allocated operative coal mines. There are many problems in transferring those mines on a temporary basis with the major being temporarily internalising the workforce of the operative mines, who at present are workers of other companies.

 

Productions from the operational mines are also likely to hit a major roadblock after transfer since no temporary planning was possible and investment in those mines wouldn’t take place.

 

The mines, according to the Supreme Court order, are supposed to come within CIL’s ambit from April next year for a six- month period, before those are given for auction. But according to a top CIL official, if the company has to truly operate those mines from April, the coal ministry has to work out the modalities now.

 

“Transferring the 42 operative mines to CIL is an interim arrangement and so the PSU miner cannot make any permanent plan. How do we absorb the workforce of different operating mines under different companies at present as CIL workforce for a temporary period?” a director on the condition of anonymity questioned.

 

CIL as a temporary lease holder of those mines cannot make any investment and temporary mining plan was not possible. During coal nationalisation CIL took over operations of running mines on an ‘as is basis’ but it was feasible as it got the mines permanently.

(Source: The Financial Express, October 17, 2014)

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