Union power ministry advises states to import coal to meet growing demand
Bahadurjeet Singh /Rupnagar
The Union Power Ministry has advised Punjab,Haryana, and other state utilities to import coal as Coal India was unable to meet the growing demand. The power ministry has suggested that Punjab and Haryana may import 6 lakh tonnes and 9 lakh tonnes of coal respectively.
The advisory comes in the wake of states demanding more coal to run their thermal units in face of growing demand.The power ministry suggested all state utilities to ensure delivery of 50% of the allocated quantity by June 30, another 40% by end-August and the remaining 10% by the end of October.The deadline suggested by the ministry is likely to push further imported coal prices.
V K Gupta Spokesperson for All India Power Engineers Federation said that the landed cost of coal in thermal plants of Punjab and Hatyana is around Rs.5500 per tonne.In case of imported coal the cost of Indonesian coal is around 200 $ per tonnes or around Rs 15000 per tonne. In addition to this the transportation charges
of Rs. 3300 per tonne from the seaport in Gujarat to thermal plants of Punjab and Haryana will be extra.The minimum cost difference between domestic and imported coal would be about Rs.13500 per tonne. Punjab will have to bear an extra expenditure of about Rs 800 crore if it imports the complete 6 lakh tonne target. In the case of Haryana, this amount will be 1200 crore for a 9 lakh tonne target.
He said that in the northern region the power demand in Punjab and Haryana during paddy season is maximum.This year maximum power demand in Punjab is likely to cross 16500 MW against last years demand of 15000 MW. In Haryana also the power demand will shoot upto 14000 MW this year.
Gupta said that as per RTI information, the railway ministry ordered a total of 52112 wagons in the last five years and the pending supply of 14050 wagons as of 31st. March, 2022.
He said that the present low coal stock at thermal plants is the railways inability to transport extra coal and failure to forecast the power demand due to the sudden rise of temperature.Punjab and Haryana are at the complete mercy of Coal India for supply of domestic coal.
Union power ministry advises states to import coal to meet growing demand. The ministry has asked state government-owned utilities to import over 22 million tonnes of coal and private power plants import 15.94 million tonnes.