The Centre-Delhi power play on coal-electricity supply shortage

Our Bureau | | Updated on: May 03, 2022

Delhi last week raised alarm over the electricity shortage due to low coal supplies, the Union Power Ministry countered that it was because Delhi had surrendered power allocation earlier this year

A political slug fest is on between Delhi and the Central government over power supply in the Capital. While Delhi last week raised alarm over the electricity shortage due to low coal supplies, the Power Ministry blamed the State government for the situation stating that it surrendered power earlier this year.

On April 28, Regarding coal supplies to power plants supplying power to the national Capital, Delhi’s Power Minister Satyendra Jain had said, “Due to disruption of power supply from Dadri-II and Unchahar power stations, there may be a problem in 24 hours power supply to many essential institutions including Delhi Metro and Delhi Government Hospitals.”

Dadri-II, Unchahar, Kahalgaon, Farakka and Jhajjar power plants supply 1,751 MW of electricity per day to Delhi.

Earlier this month, the Union Power Minister RK Singh shot off a letter to Jain complaining about the incorrect information being shared with the public on the electricity situation in the national capital.

Singh responded that coal stock at Dadri plant on April 29 was 2,02,400 tonnes, which is sufficient for 8.43 days at 85 per cent PLF. Similarly, coal stock at Unchahar plant was 97,620 tonnes, sufficient for 4.6 days. Coal at Kahalgaon plant was 1,87,000 tonnes (5.31 days), 2,34,220 tonnes (8.38 days) at Farakka and 1,62,560 tonnes at Jhajjar (8.02 days).

Differences over Coal & Gas power plants

On Monday, the Power Ministry said that Government of NCT of Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh had surrendered their quota of Power from the Central Generating Stations.

Power Ministry said that as of April 28, Delhi has surrendered 43 MW from NTPC’s Anta Gas Station, 72 MW from Auraiya Gas Station (NTPC) and 91 MW from the Gencos’ Dadri Gas Station.

In a January 2022 communication to Power Ministry, Delhi said that NTPC gas stations – Anta, Auraiya and Dadri – have higher generation cost and their 25-year PPA period has expired in case of Anta and Auraiya, and for Dadri will end shortly on March 31. In view of higher generation costs and expiry of PPA, they may be considered for permanent re-allocation to other needy states.

On Unchahar-I, Farakka-I & II and Khalgaon-I, Delhi government said that these coal based stations have also completed their 25-year PPAs, but the generation cost is comparatively lower than that of gas-based plants and the power allocation to Delhi from these stations will be required to be continued at present.

Issue of Dadri-I

Centre has also said that had Delhi not surrendered the Dadri-I power station of NTPC, the electricity supply situation would not have deteriorated. “The MoP wrote to DERC to reconsider the decision to allow Discoms to surrender the power. Had this power not been surrendered by Delhi Discoms, Delhi would have been in a comfortable position and not required to buy power at high cost,” a senior Power Ministry official said.

Published on May 03, 2022
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