State-owned NTPC Ltd said on Monday it has shut down three 500 Mw units of the 3000 Mw (6x500) super thermal power station at Kaniha near Talcher after a workers strike at Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) snapped supply of the fuel.
NTPC's Kaniha station has not got coal since July 25. Power production at the plant has dwindled to 1000 Mw against its capacity of 3000 Mw. NTPC Kaniha has been historically running its plant at a Plant Load Factor (PLF) exceeding 90 per cent. A statement by NTPC said the rest three units of the plant are running at 'technical minimum' with generation totaling to 900-1000 Mw.
To run all the six units (500 Mw each) at their peak rated capacity, NTPC Kaniha needs 55,000 tonnes of coal supplies each day. Bogged down by the coal crisis, NTPC's units are running on partial load.
NTPC said it is making efforts to direct coal from other sources to alleviate the crisis.
Workers at MCL's Talcher coalfields have gone on a strike since July 24 evening, protesting the incident at Bharatpur open pit coal mining project. Due to alleged negligence by the concerned manager, there was a strata failure at the mines, leading to landslide. While three bodies were extricated from the debris, around 10 injured were rushed to the hospital for expedient treatment.
The six-day stir has paralysed coal production at Talcher coalfields. One of the most prolific coal mining zones in the country, the Talcher coalfields produces 210,000 tonnes each day. It also serves as an important coal sourcing hub for power generators within Odisha and beyond.
MCL said, it is making the best of efforts to defuse the coal crisis and rescue the NTPC Kaniha plant from sinking into further crisis. The coal producer pointed out efforts are underway to divert coal from its Ib valley coalfields to feed the Kaniha super thermal power plant.