Industry

Coal stocks start building up at power plants, says secretary

The power ministry on Wednseday said coal situation at power plants is “much better” now and dry fuel stocks have started building up at the stations.

Power Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla said that the number of plants facing acute coal shortage has come down The Coal Ministry earlier had blamed power producers for low stocks of dry fuel at their plants.

When asked about the coal situation at power plants, Power Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla told reporters “that its much better.

Coal loading has been quite good. More than 220 rakes in the last few days has been coming for us and demand side the situation is better.”

Stating that coal stocks have started building up at the power plants, Bhalla said, “About 10 (power plants are with) critical (stocks) and 12-13 (power plants are with) super critical (stocks) . Things are much better.”

A power plant is classified as super critical if coal stock is less than of four days. If a plant has stock for four to seven days, it is termed critical.

On environment ministry coming out with tougher norms relating to consumption of water, particulate matter, SO2, NOx and mercury for coal-based thermal power plants, the secretary said, “We have submitted a phasing programme to MoEF (Ministry of Environment and Forests)... All plants cannot be closed in one go and be converted into compliance.”

As many as 295 coal-based power plants have got more time of two to four years to meet strict new environment norms which were to be implemented by December 2017.

“We have requested for a phased plan. Phased means I cannot finish everything by December 7. We have given a plan looking at each and every plant in the country,” Bhalla said.

The secretary was speaking to reporters during a function in which Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), a company under the power ministry, announced the launch of $ 454 million ₹ 2,950 crore) project in collaboration with Global Environment Facility.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had last month asked the Centre to ensure adequate supply of coal and early allocation of a coal block situated in Odisha to meet the severe fuel shortage being faced by power units in his state.

Earlier, Rajasthan Urja Vikas Nigam had said that power generation at thermal power stations has reduced by 2,700 MW due to shortage of coal, forcing it to resort to load shedding in the state.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2021 10:44:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/coal-stocks-start-building-up-at-power-plants-says-secretary/article19962323.ece

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