Two thermal plants in Punjab running out of coal - Hindustan Times
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Two thermal plants in Punjab running out of coal

ByKaram Prakash, Patiala
Oct 28, 2023 08:28 AM IST

Two thermal power plants in Punjab are facing coal shortages, with one plant having only two days' stock left. The shortage is due to reduced coal supply from Central Coalfields Limited and mining disruptions caused by the monsoon season.

Two of the five thermal power plants (TPPs) in the state are facing acute shortage of coal.

Thermal plant at Goindwal sahib in district Tarn Taran
Thermal plant at Goindwal sahib in district Tarn Taran

As per a latest report of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), a statutory body of the ministry of power that oversees the electric system in the country, Goindwal Sahib plant is left with fuel reserves that will last for only four days while that of Talwandi Sabo is left with only two days’ stock. It has been learned that two units of the Goindwal Sahib plant had to be shut for a couple of days earlier this month due to the ongoing shortage of coal.

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Any further disruption for any reason in the supply line would make the situation worse for both the plants, said experts. According to the norms in place, the thermal plants must have coal stock that is sufficient for at least 21 days. However, as per the CEA, it is from Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) that there is less supply of coal.

Besides these two plants, the situation in the remaining three plants is also not very encouraging. Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Power Plant has coal stock enough for 21 days; Guru Hargobind Thermal Plant in Lehra Mohabbat in Bathinda has stock for 11.8 days; and Rajpura Thermal Power Plant has 12 days of coal left.

As of now, the daily coal supply to the five thermal plants in the state has already been reduced by nearly 50%. Before this crisis of short supply erupted, around 1.20 lakh metric tonnes of coal in nearly 30 railway rakes would reach the power plants everyday, which has now been reduced to around 68,000 metric tonnes.

Coal output dips post monsoon: Experts

According to officials of Punjab State Corporation Limited (PSCPL), less supply of coal was due to the mining disruptions in coal fields caused by monsoon. Experts said domestic coal output in the country dips during monsoon: June to September.

“All thermal power plants in the state were told to pile up the coal stock ahead of the monsoon season to overcome shortage post-monsoon. Some of the power plants fail to follow advisory to cut down their inventory costs,” a senior official of the PSPCL told HT. He said the situation would improve in the coming days.

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