National Aluminium Company Limited (Nalco) has said that an acute coal shortage is affecting its smelter plant operations.
In a press release, the company said it fully depends upon Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) for coal supply to its captive power plant (CPP) at Angul and steam & power unit at Damanjodi.
Nalco needs about 17,000 tonnes of coal daily for its CPP at Angul, but is receiving just 8,000-9,000 tonnes, leading to a shortfall of 7,000-8,000 tonnes per day.
Due to this short supply, which has been running the past seven weeks, the buffer stock of coal available with the firm's CPP has been exhausted.
"Since the supply of coal has not improved, Nalco has been drawing around 190 Mw of power from the State Grid. As on date, 80 electrolytic pots in the Smelter plant have been stopped," the company said.
The company further stated that since the coal supply position isn't improving, Nalco may be forced to shut down up to 227 electrolytic pots in phases, in order to match power generation at the CPP with the coal it receives every day.
At present, three units of the firm's CPP, each 'with a capacity of 120 Mw, are under shutdown and one more unit will be taken off production due to coal shortage.
The coal crunch has severely impacted Nalco's aluminium production and raised the cost of power, as the electricity purchased from the grid is more expensive than the power produced at its CPP.
Unions and associations have appealed to MCL, Coal India Ltd And Ministry of Coal to ensure increased coal supply to Nalco to tide over the situation, the company said in the release.