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Power producers seek resolution of issues to augment coal output from Korba mines

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: January 27, 2019  | 14:03 IST

New Delhi, Jan 27 (PTI) Flagging lower coal production in Chhattisgarh's Korba Coalfield that contributes around 25 GW to the country's power generation capacity, the Association of Power Producers (APP) has urged ministries of coal and power to resolve issues to augment production, especially contractual. In a letter written to the ministries earlier this month, APP said the entire upto 100 mm sized coal production by surface miners should be dispatched through direct rail mode from South Eastern Coalfields Ltd's (SECL) own sidings and merry-go-round train (MGR), or conveyor belt. The industry body pleaded that less than 250 mm sized coal should not be supplied through direct rail mode at the SECL sidings and should be allocated through washery or road mode, which are having the facilities to handle such ROM (run of mine) coal. The body also said there is a need for immediate action to be taken for resolving the long-pending contractual issues at Korba area. According to the letter, the reduction in surface miner 100 mm coal production has directly impacted despatches to power sector through direct rail mode from the SECL sidings. The overall rake loading has reduced 167 rakes (0.7 million tonne) from 25.5 rakes per day in November 2018 to 19.9 rakes per day in December 2018. It pointed out that there have been severe operational difficulties in rake loading and the scenario for January appears to be worsening. It said: "Rail programmes of power houses are valid up to the 3rd of the next month February and non-availability of coal in Korba area is forcing power houses to convert maximum quantity to Washery / Road mode. Even after transferring of rakes from rail mode to washery or road mode substantial rakes are lapsing." According to the association, the overall production in the SECL Korba Coalfield (Gevra, Kusmunda and Dipka mines) was 2.99 lakh tonnes per day during April to November 2018. The production in December 2018 was 2.95 lakh tonne per day. A power company official said the fall in production at Korba mines directly impacting coal supplies to close to 25,000 MW of generation capacity of state-run power giant NTPC, state-owned utilities of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan besides independent power projects of Adani, KSK, GMR, DB Power, RKM, Jindal, SKS and Lanco, among others. The official pointed out, "These power producers are struggling with logistics issues as Coal India is unable to produce crushed coal necessary for transportation through rail sidings, which is the most preferred & efficient mode of transportation." PTI KKS HRS MKJ

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