Karnataka raises alarm on coal shortage

Bengaluru | Updated on October 17, 2018

A view of the coal handing yard at BTPS near Ballari (File photo)   -  THE HINDU

Wind power generation comes to a sudden halt

Karnataka, which has a healthy mix of solar, wind, thermal and hydro power generation, has suddenly found 1,500 MW of wind energy drying up.

This fall in wind energy generation has set alarm bells ringing and the State is looking for alternative sources to meet peak-hour demand, which hovers between 1,200 and 1,500 MW.

Cyclone effect

Normally, Karnataka harvests wind energy up to the end of October. But this year, after two cyclones, ‘Luban’ and ‘Titli’, wind energy has dried up, forcing the power producing companies to fall back on to the traditional mode — thermal and hydro power generation. Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, after a review meeting, has written to Union Minister Piyush Goyal highlighting that the Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS) has no coal stock.

Insufficient supply

He also pointed out that supply of six lakh tonnes of coal is lesser than the quantity that was agreed upon in the Fuel Supply Agreement (FSA) signed by the State and Centre.

Later in the day, Kumaraswamy tweeted: “Coal scarcity in State’s Thermal Power Stations: Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS) with 1,720 MW capacity has zero coal stock. WCL, a Government of India Coal Company, has short-supplied about 6 lakh MT of coal to RTPS this year against the Fuel Supply Agreement quantity resulting in this situation.”

Later, he tweet again: “I have requested Hon’ble Coal Minister of Union Govt Piyush Goyalji to make good this deficit from Mahanadi Coal Fields (MCL). I even requested the Hon’ble Minister that in the coming days WCL shall ensure supply of FSA quantity in full for sustainable power generation in Karnataka.”

“As of now there is no shortage of power in Karnataka. There is enough resources due to good rains and all hydro reservoirs are full,” said S Chandrasekhar, Co-Chairman, CII-SR Power, Renewable Energy and Infrastructure Subcommittee & Managing Director, Bhoruka Power Corporation.

“Yes there is shortage of coal. With no wind power generation after the cyclones, power producers naturally require a way out and are looking to replenish coal stock,” he added.

The drying up of wind power generation in the southern States has led to daily spot price to rise sharply. “The impact of shortfall is such that we witnessed daily spot price to rise sharply and had peaked over 100 per cent twice in the last one month,” Chandrasekhar added.

Published on October 17, 2018

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