The present power crisis due to coal shortage was not just restricted to Maharashtra but it was also prevalent in 12 states, said energy minister Nitin Raut on Tuesday. He said Gujarat has declared a staggering day for the electricity supply to industrial consumers while Andhra Pradesh has announced a 40% cut in power supply. Similar situation exists in Punjab and Haryana too.
‘’ In all 12 states are facing electricity issues due to shortage of coal. The state energy department is working to mitigate the shortfall with micro level planning,’’ said Raut.
According to the minister, the coal shortage is also because of a lack of adequate railway rakes. Against the state's requirement of 37 rakes per day, it gets only 26 that also impacts the coal supply. Each rake can transport 4,000 metric tonnes of coal, he said.
‘’There is no load shedding for five to six consecutive days in Maharashtra as the MahaVitaran has successfully managed the situation due to micro level planning. The power deficit was reported at 15%,’’ said Raut. His statement came when the state’s power demand had exceeded 24,500 mw.
Raut said that the state-run MahaGenco, with installed capacity of thermal power plants of 9,330 mw, plans to generate 8,000 mw of electricity. He noted that the thermal power plants situated in the coastal region operate on the imported coal.
Raut said that the Centre has recently lifted a ban on the import of coal. ‘’The MahaGenco has issued tenders to import one lakh metric tonnes of coal,’’ he added.
As reported by the Free Press Journal, the MahaGenco in November 2021 had decided to import 20 lakh metric tonnes of coal to meet the shortage. Nearly 6 lakh metric tonnes will come from Indonesia in phases in May and June.
Raut reiterated that the state cabinet has recently allowed the MahaVitaran to draw 760 mw from the Coastal Gujarat Power Limited. The power will be available at Rs 5.50 to 5.70 per unit. Besides, NTPC NTPC will supply 673 MW of electricity daily till June 15.