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Maharashtra seeks Centre's intervention for adequate coal supply

Sanjay Jog  |  Mumbai 

The Maharashtra government has sought the Centre’s intervention to get adequate coal supply from Coal India subsidiaries and Singareni Collieries.

What state-run Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (Mahagenco) gets since November last year is 18 to 20 rakes a day — as against the daily domestic coal requirement of 24 rakes. The deficit from Western Coalfields is affecting the generation of the thermal generation plant with a capacity of 6,480 Mw. Mahagenco is losing daily generation of 1,000 Mw for want of coal.

Further, the government said the shortfall of coal would force Mahagenco to procure imported coal or domestic coal available with traders at very high prices, which would lead to rise in cost of power substantially.

Mahagenco imports nearly 3.35 million tonnes per annum and annually procures 35 million tonnes from domestic sources. According to the state government, non-assurance of fuel from coal company would create issues of further loan disbursement from financial institutions to Mahagenco.

A senior government official said the domestic coal for the state’s power plants come from Western Coalfields, South Eastern Coalfields, Mahanadi Coalfields and Singareni Collieries Company. “Mahagenco has signed coal supply agreements with Western Coalfields on November 21, 2009, for 20 years. It will be reviewed every five years,” he told Business Standard. “However, at present, power plants are faced with critically low coal stocks due to the shortage of coal rakes and inadequate coal rake movement.”

The official said Mahagenco has been consistently raising this issue with coal companies, the Central Electricity Authority and the Railway Board.

“Since the last 10 months, raw coal materialisation of Mahanadi Coalfields (April 2011-January 2012) to Mahagenco was only at 53.28 per cent,” he said. “This was affecting the power generation of Parli, Paras and Khaparkheda plants with total generation capacity above 1,800 Mw.” Also, less receipt of coal from coal companies has “seriously affected” the stock of Mahagenco thermal power stations as on January 31.

The state has taken up Mahagenco’s issue with the Centre -- and requested it to direct Western Coalfields to dispatch coal from the mines to railway sidings for transportation to power plants on or before April 1 to avoid loss of generation, especially during summer months, he added.

Officials at the Western Coalfields could not be contacted for comments.

State-run Mahagenco has also appealed to the Centre to increase gas production for its 850-Mw Uran project and make arrangement for its expansion.

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First Published: Sat, March 03 2012. 01:00 IST