Union Power and New Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh reviewed the status of coal imports for blending in thermal power plants in a recent meeting with senior state government officials, gencos and Union Power Secretary Alok Kumar. During this meeting, Singh highlighted the importance of importing coal for blending in the thermal power plants given the challenges in domestic coal supply to meet the increased demand.
States have been advised to place orders for coal imports for blending purposes so that additional coal reaches power plants from May itself, as per the Power Ministry release. The release read, “Honorable Minister stated that the domestic coal would be supplied to all GENCOS in proportion to the coal received from coal companies.” The Minister also advised states and union territories to increase output from captive mines to meet their coal requirements to reduce burden on the linkage coal.
The Ministry also urged states to take actions to ensure coal supply to their power plants by ensuring off-take in the rail-cum-road (RCR) mode to meet the shortfall in coal requirements at power plants. It also said that if states do not lift the coal via RCR mode, it will be de-allocated and offered to other states. Concerned states shall be responsible for shortages and consequent power shortages in their states.
Data presented by the Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) during the meeting showed Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra placed coal import orders whereas Punjab and Gujarat are in advanced stage of finalization of tenders and other states need to put in more efforts towards coal imports for blending purposes.
Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have neither issued tenders nor taken any significant action for coal imports, as per the Ministry. It also directed these states to take necessary actions to ensure sufficient coal supply to power plants in their respective states.
RCR status of states like Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal on lifting allocated coal was not satisfactory.
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