State is at fault, says Centre; supply increased considerably in April, in tandem with demand, says ministry
Slams energy minister for blaming Centre
In particular, supply to MahaGenco increased from 0.96 lakh tonnes per day in March to 1.32 lakh tonnes per day in April, despite MahaGenco having Rs 2,390cr in pending dues
Mumbai: The Centre has blamed the Maharashtra government for the present power crisis that has led to load shedding in the state. In a strongly worded rebuttal, the Union coal ministry has claimed that Maharashtra is currently receiving more coal than it did in March. The ministry further stated that as of now, the state’s coal requirement is being met. Maharashtra’s thermal power plants (TPP) were supplied with 70.77 million tonnes (MT) of coal during the financial year 2021-22.
According to the ministry, coal supply to thermal plants was increasing in tandem with increase in demand for power. In March 2022, supply to the power plants of Maharashtra (comprising MahaGenco and independent power producers) was 2.14 lakh tonnes per day, which was stepped up to 2.76 lakh tonnes per day in April.
MahaGenco, in particular, was supplied 37.131MT of coal in 2021-22. The daily coal supply to MahaGenco in March was 0.96 lakh tonnes per day, which has been increased further to 1.32 lakh tonnes per day in April (as on April 11, 2022). “It is equally pertinent that the coal requirement of Maharashtra is being met despite MahaGenco having outstanding dues of nearly Rs 2,390 crore,” said the ministry.
However, Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut had blamed the Centre, saying that load shedding was unavoidable due to the short supply of coal and gas amid rising power demand. “Some plants in Maharashtra are left with one-and-a half-days of coal, some with three days’ stock and others with six days’ stock. The state government is working to resolve the power crisis,” said the minister.
Raut admitted that MahaGenco owed Rs 2,390 crore in arrears to Coal India and its subsidiaries. The Centre has told the state government and MahaGenco to first clear its dues and only then will it supply coal.
MahaGenco, with its installed thermal generation capacity of 9,330MW, is struggling to get adequate supplies from Coal India and its subsidiaries. Against the requirement of 1,38,710 tonnes of coal for these plants to operate at a plant load factor of 85 per cent, it has received 1,32,438 tonnes. MahaGenco can supply 7,200MW during peak hours and if the coal supply improves, it will continue to generate more, especially during peak hours.
Meanwhile, because of the public holiday, the state power distribution company, MahaVitaran, did not carry out load shedding on Sunday. MahaVitaran has been purchasing 2,000MW to supply uninterrupted power to its agricultural consumers for eight hours each, during the day and night.