State public sector undertakings are paying a heavy price for transporting coal from the blocks allocated to them in remote areas of other states.
Power companies owned by the governments of Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat, for instance, have been alloted blocks on coal-rich Chhattisgarh. These companies excavate about 48.6 million tonnes (MT) of coal a year. The cost of transporting the fuel to their end-use plants works out to a staggering Rs 4,860 crore.
The freight cost comes to be around Rs 1,000 per tonne. The average distance of the end-use plants of the three companies from the blocks is 1,000 kilometers.
Maharastra State Power Generation Company Limited had been allotted Gare-II Sector Coal Mine in Chhatisgarh's Raigarh district. The company recently obtained environment clearance to start the operations after a public hearing. It will pay nearly Rs 2360 crore a year towards Railway freight for transporting 23 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of coal from the mine to its plants in Maharashtra.
Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Udpadan Nigam Limited would incur nearly Rs 2000 crore a year as freight cost for 15 MTPA from its Parsa East-Kante Basan and 5 MTPA from Parsa to its native state. Two of the mines in Sarguja district are operational. Gujarat will pay nearly Rs 500 crore for transporting 5 MTPA coal once the mining operation starts in Gare Sector-I mine in Raigarh.
“We have submitted a detailed presentation to the ministry of coal on the possible best solution to issue of high coal transportation costs,” said Pradeep Tandon, Chairman of Chhattisgarh Council of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci). It would make a huge difference if some of the coal mined in the blocks in Chhattisgarh were to be allotted to local power plants starved of the fuel, he added.
Instead of paying high freight cost, the coal could be used for generating power in Chhattisgarh itself and the state PSUs could supply it to the state concern. Besides reducing the traffic on the already saturated Railway network, it would also help reduce the power production cost in the respective state and benefit the consumer, Tandon said.
The module would help revive more 7,000-Mw of idle capacities in Chhattisgarh, shut down due to lack of coal in that state, Tandon added.
|Sl no||Coal Block||Allocatee||End Use Plant : Distance in Kms||Extractable Reserves (Million Tons)||Mining per Annum (MTPA)|
|Gujarat State Electricity Company||
UkaiTPP : 1289
Gandhinagar : 1436
|Maharashtra State Power Generation Company||
|3||Parsa East- Kante Basan, Surguja||Rajasthan Rajya Vidhut Urja Nigam||
|Rajasthan Rajya Vidhut Urja Nigam||
|Total (Million Tons)||2891.86||48.60|
Source: FICCI Chhattisgarh