Andhra Pradesh

Power situation easing, says Energy Secretary

N. Srikanth

N. Srikanth  

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Heavy rains in the coal belt of Odisha and the closure of the Bharatpur open cast mines of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) from which Andhra Pradesh (A.P.) procures a huge chunk of the fuel for its thermal power plants, left Dr. Narla Tatarao Thermal Power Station (NTTPS) near Vijayawada, Damodaram Sanjeevaiah Thermal Power Station at Krishnapatnam and Rayalaseema Thermal Power Plant (RTPP) at Kadapa with a combined stock of just 1.50 lakh metric tonnes as on Wednesday.

The Krishnapatnam power plant has stocks adequate for just three days, whereas the NTTPS and RTPP have stocks that will last for two days and one and a half a day respectively.

Plea to KCR

As a major crisis loomed, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy urged his Telangana counterpart K. Chandrasekhar Rao to increase the coal supply from Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), while officials of the Energy Department got in touch with top executives of Coal India Limited (CIL) for getting MCL to augment the supplies.

Accordingly, MCL, which has been sending only six rakes against the full quota of 11 per day for the last 10 days, increased it to eight (the consignment will be reaching Andhra Pradesh by October 5) and committed to send an additional two rakes thereafter.

Similarly, SCCL doubled the number of rakes from four to eight.

While the required coal is on its way, A.P. has brought down power supply interruptions to almost nil by buying from exchanges, said Energy Secretary and AP-Transco CMD N. Srikant.

In an exclusive interview to The Hindu, Mr. Srikant said Andhra Pradesh power utilities purchased 1,900 Megawatts (MW) against the maximum limit of 2,000 MW from the energy exchanges and an indent had been placed for despatching another 1,900 MW on October 3.

Several disadvantages

He observed that the State could not depend much on renewable sources of energy as they were variable and due to the cost factor and compared with other States, A.P. has far less installed capacities of hydel, nuclear and gas-based power, which constitute the base load.

For instance, he pointed out, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have nuclear power plants (a bulk of this sustainable source of power is to be given to ‘home States’ where they are located) and Karnataka and Kerala have huge hydel capacities.

Gas-based plants

But, A.P. does not have that luxury, which forces it to buy power from other States during shortages. Moreover, gas-based power plants in A.P. were stranded for want of gas.

The overall adequacy and balancing costs of power was relatively higher. As far as resumption of normal coal supply was concerned, he said, the Bharatpur mines would be reopened on October 15.

Telangana has little problem on the thermal power front due to the availability of enough coal in SCCL, he observed.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 4:59:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/power-situation-easing-says-energy-secretary/article29577992.ece

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