VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh has been facing severe shortage of coal supplies for thermal power generation in the last four months.
As the state generates power from Vijayawada, Rayalaseema and Krishnapatnam thermal power stations with daily requirement of nearly 75,000 tonnes of coal to produce 70 to 80 million units of power per day, it gets coal supplies mainly from Mahanadi Coalfields located at Talcher and Ib Valley and also from Singareni Collieries on a daily basis by rail. For instance, Vijayawada thermal power plant gets five to eight rakes of coal daily from the above-mentioned coal fields.
A senior official from Vijayawada Thermal Power Plant said, “We have been witnessing short supply of coal for some time and we are depending upon daily supply of coal to continue power generation. Fortunately, we have never stopped power generation for want of supply of coal in the recent past as we get regular supply of coal. Unlike earlier days where we used to keep huge stocks of coal at our plant, now it is an almost daily struggle to get coal supplies.”
It is learnt that the thermal power unit cost has gone up three times from nearly Rs 3 to Rs 15 at present. AP Genco managing director B. Sreedhar said, “The daily power consumption has gone up to nearly 195 million units from the earlier 160 million units. We are using only 80 percent of the installed capacity for thermal power generation at present. We are expecting coal supplies to improve in the next 10 days and the officials from the Union ministries of coal and power are holding regular meetings to review the situation. As the south-west monsoon period is over, we get some relief to get good supplies of coal from the mines and we are expecting the situation to ease in the next few days.”