Tamil Nadu

Centre despatches 16 rakes of coal to T.N., more to come

The coal shortage could lead to shutting down of thermal plants   | Photo Credit: B_JOTHI RAMALINGAM

With the Centre despatching 16 rakes of coal to Tamil Nadu on Tuesday, the coal stock will suffice for four days, Electricity Minister P. Thangamani said.

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagging the low stock and how it could lead to shutting down of thermal power plants. Mr. Thangamani met Union Minister for Railways and Coal Piyush Goyal on Tuesday.

Talking to The Hindu over phone, Mr. Thangamani said the Union Power Ministry held a high-level meeting last week and and decided to send 16 rakes of coal to the State. To a request for additional four more coal rakes, the Union Power Minister promised to take steps to send 20 rakes of coal in the coming weeks. He said the coal stock would soon increase to the usual 15 days.

Providing the figures of coal rakes sent by the Centre, he said eight rakes of coal were sent in the aftermath of the CM’s letter, followed by 13 rakes and further increasing it to 17 rakes on Sunday. On Tuesday 16 rakes of coal were sent.

Dip in demand

“Already, electricity demand has come down today because of rains in various parts of the State and wind energy has picked up, yielding more than 2,000 mega watt (MW). So gradually the coal stock will be scaled up to the normal level.”

Regarding the charge by Opposition parties about State thermal power plants in Tuticorin and Mettur being shut down due to coal shortage, Mr. Thangamani said the plants were backed down not because of coal shortage but due to reduction in electricity demand. He added that the Electricity department was willing to take journalists on a media tour to the plants to show the true position of the available coal stock.

The Minister said power outages experienced by residents in the various parts of the State on September 10 were only an aberration and to balance the demand-supply gap caused by the sudden drop in wind energy generation. But the situation was brought under control the next day, he added.

He said Tamil Nadu State had adequate power generation capacity and had been certified as power surplus State in the Load Generation Balance Report.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 12:11:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/centre-despatches-16-rakes-of-coal-to-tn-more-to-come/article24981282.ece

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