Minister says TN will remain power surplus

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on September 18, 2018

Tamil Nadu Electricity Minister P Thangamani   -  THE HINDU

‘Sudden drop in wind generation caused a blip’

Tamil Nadu Electricity Minister P Thangamani on Tuesday asserted that the State would not face any outages and remain a power-surplus State.

The Minister, who was in New Delhi with State power department officials to meet Union Coal Minister Piyush Goel and Union Power Minister RK Singh, addressed the media in New Delhi on the power situation in the State.

‘No outage issue’

Dismissing the power outage issue in Tamil Nadu as a false propaganda by the Opposition parties, Thangamani said his visit to the capital was to request the Centre to allocate more coal to thermal stations in Tamil Nadu in order to maintain sufficient coal stock.

He explained that the coal stock for thermal stations in Tamil Nadu dropped to three days from the normal 15 days due to disruptions in transportation of coal from Odisha last week because of rains. Not just Tamil Nadu, thermal stations in other States also faced dwindling inventory due to the rains, he said.

After Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s letter to the Prime Minister requesting for more allocation of coal a few days ago, Tangedco has been receiving 13 rakes of coal every day, up from 8 rakes last week.

“After our meeting with Coal Minister Piyush Goel today, the Centre has promised to send 16 rakes of coal every day. They also agreed to consider our request for 20 rakes of coal a day favourably. We asked for 20 rakes in order to have a coal inventory for longer days,” he added.

CIL supply

A statement from Coal India Ltd (CIL) said: “In view of the increased demand of coal by Tangedco, CIL has drawn up a plan to supply 16 rakes per day (about. 61,000 tonnes/day), comprising of 13 rakes by Mahanadi Coalfields, 2 rakes from Eastern Coalfields and one rake from Central Coalfields.

CIL has advised its subsidiary coal companies to ensure supplies to Tangedco for enabling them to build comfortable coal stock. CIL has also requested Indian Railways to supply more rakes to ensure delivery of coal to Tangedco as per their requirement.

Drop in wind

Explaining the power outages, Thangamani said a significant drop in the generation of wind power as against the forecast created a temporary setback.

Tangedco gets wind power between last week of May and the first week of October and during this period thermal stations take up maintenance activity for a couple of months one by one.

As against first week of October, wind power generation fell from about 3,000 MW to double digit levels during September first week. It led to some power cuts for about 30 minutes on a turn basis across the state on 9th and 10th.

However, Tangedco restored the power situation immediately by increasing the generation at its thermal stations and also procuring the share of power from Central stations.

Fall in demand

Meanwhile, power demand in the State dropped in the past two days and accordingly Tangedco reduced the generation level at its Tuticorin and Mettur stations. “This is not due to non-availability of coal, but because of a drop in demand due to monsoon rains across the state,” he added.

The State Power Minister stated that Tamil Nadu would not face power shortfall as the installed capacity is about 18,000 MW, including Centre’s share, in the conventional segment, while the demand is about 15,000 MW. Also, the total installed capacity in the renewable sector is about 11,000 MW, including 8,150 MW of wind power.

Published on September 18, 2018

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