JAIPUR: Despite excess production capacity, the state is facing power shortage in the peak summer season due to scarcity of coal and breakdown of some generating units. Rajasthan Urja Nigam Ltd (RUNL) announced on Tuesday that there will be power cuts across the state in rotation due to a shortage of 4000 MW of producing power. The decision was withdrawn by the Discoms after they somehow managed the power supply purchasing power from energy exchange.
“We are not out of danger but the dagger is still dangling,” said managing director R.K Srivastava of Rajasthan Urja Nigam Limited. He further said almost all the coal based power plants in Rajasthan are running short of coal. The plants do not have sufficient coal to last even a week, although on an average they should have a critical stock for 20 days.
Rajasthan is heavily dependent on thermal plants to meet its power demand. All across Rajasthan there are around eight coal based power plants and one in Kawai of Adani Corporation.
Srivastava said, “This crisis is there since August 2017 and there are plants in which coal will run out anytime. There was also a sudden crisis when a unit tripped because of which power cut had to be announced. On Tuesday, we had to work for the whole night to get the power back on as 600 MW power at Kalisindh and 250 MW Suratgarh tripped due to technical problems. Apart from that in Adani power plant one out of two units has stopped working since the past five months due to shortage of coal. So, the state is running on very limited coal reserve.”
The majors reason for shortage of coal is the delay of transportation by Coal India limited. SS Meena, who is the director (technical) Rajasthan Vidyut Utpadan Nigam, said that Chhabra and Kota power plants are reeling due to the delay in supply done by the Coal India limited. But in Kalisindh, where coal is supplied directly from Chhattisgarh, there is no such crisis.
Srivastava said, “Establishment of lignite coal power plants which are available in the state can solve many of our problems, so it should be promoted. Presently, around 5000 MW power of coal based electricity is being produced in Rajasthan and 14000 MW we are getting from other sources. If the supply does not equal the huge demand, soon the state would be forced to adopt load shedding.”
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