Bracing up early for the summer season of 2018, when electricity demand is likely to flank 20,000 megawatts (Mw), the Yogi Adityanath government has urged the Centre to provide adequate supply of coal for the thermal power stations in Uttar Pradesh. The government is taking preemptive measures to ensure that power generation is not affected owing to the short supply of coal during the summer and monsoon seasons and that the power generation, transmission and distribution rosters work out as planned. UP has signed the ‘Power for All’ document with the Centre, the electricity demand in the state is touted to touch 22,000 Mw. It is estimated that the total number of power consumers would increase from about 18 million at present to 40 million by 2019-20, thereby indicating humongous power demand. UP chief secretary Rajive Kumar held a meeting with union coal secretary Sushil Kumar in Lucknow on Monday to discuss all pending issues related to coal supply. The senior officials specifically talked about the coal supply hurdles to the state-owned Harduaganj, Anpara D, and Parichha thermal power plants. Meanwhile, the Centre has conceded to the state demand of categorising the Aligarh-based Harduaganj thermal power plant (600 Mw generation capacity) as ‘critical’, which would now entitle it to unabated coal supply. Besides, coal supply to Parichha thermal power plant in Jhansi district from the South Eastern Coal Field Limited has been extended for another six months, since the partial supply agreement was due to expire by January end. The union coal ministry is further considering to hike the coal linkage of 1,000 Mw Anpara D thermal power unit in Sonbandra from 3.364 million tonnes (MT) to 5 MT. Till December, the Adityanath government had paid nearly Rs 6 billion against coal supply to the state thermal power units and the process to clear the remaining payment was on. Besides, the state has entered into an agreement with farmers for the acquisition of 23 hectares of land of the 52 hectare of private land required for the Ghatampur thermal power project in Kanpur.
The 2x660 Mw (1,980 Mw) Ghatampur unit is being developed by Neyveli UP Power Limited, a joint venture between Neyveli Lignite Corporation and UP Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited holding 51 and 49 per cent of the stake respectively.During previous Akhilesh Yadav government, there had always been a war of words between the Centre and UP over coal supply with the state alleging short supply resulting in shutting down of the thermal power plants. Power generation by state-owned power stations is about 4,000-4,500 Mw. The private sector generation stands at about 5,000 Mw, while UP’s share from the Central sector is roughly 6,000 Mw. UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) has long-term and short-term power purchase agreements (PPA) of about 3,000 Mw.