As thermal power generation units across the country grapple with coal shortage, India's largest power generator NTPC is looking at several methods to augment supply to states. It is also relying on gas-run units to improve power supply in the middle of a coal shortage.
NTPC, however, added states were not scheduling power from gas-based stations but were drawing from the grid. Gas-run power units sell power at higher rates than coal, hydro and renewable energy units as most rely on imported gas. As on August 29, the peak power demand stood at 173 Gw while the peak shortage was 201 Mw. In energy consumption terms, demand was 4,032 million units (MUs) while the deficit stood at 24 MUs (on Saturday).
On Friday, the energy deficit was 75 MUs. Several thermal units across the country are pointing at a shortage of coal. Close to 87 Gw of power generation capacity has coal stock less than 8 days, and 17 Gw capacity has less than one day of coal stock.
NTPC said the company was augmenting its imported coal capacity of 2.7 million tonne, which was drawn from its earlier contracts. It is also making available coal at its units with critical coal positions (less than seven days of stock) by getting coal from units that have adequate stock.
NTPC said it was increasing coal production in all its captive mines. The company has 10 coal mines of its own and of these, three are operational. “Darlipalli Unit-2 (800 Mw) was put into operation and commercial operation is to start from September 1. The plant is a pit-head station, and coal is being fed from the Dulanga mine of NTPC,” said. Darlipalli is located in Odisha. The company said it was coordinating with Coal India and railways for augmenting coal supply at critical stations and “diverting (freight) rakes wherever required.” NTPC said 7 Gw of gas power capacity is available, as against 3 Gw last week during peak demand hours.