Power Ministry kicks off plan to push coal supplies to power plants

There were fears of power outages in the festive season because of critical coal shortage at power plants.

New Delhi: Allaying fears of electricity outages on the eve of Diwali, the Power Ministry said a detailed plan has been implemented from Wednesday to ensure sufficient supply of coal to power plants.

There were fears of power outages in the festive season because of critical coal shortage at power plants, especially when spot power price touched a peak of over Rs 10 per unit earlier this week.

According to a Central Electricity Authority (CEA) daily report, as many as 22 plants had coal for less than four days while four had stocks for less then a week, as on October 16.

The CEA monitors coal stock situation at 112 thermal power plants.

"A detailed plan has been agreed which would be implemented from October 18, 2017 and would ensure sufficient supply of coal to power plants," a Power Ministry statement said.

According to the statement, Power Minister R K Singh and Railways and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday jointly reviewed the status and also spoke to concerned states, which have requested for enhanced supply of coal.

They also noted that supply to states like Maharashtra has improved and efforts will be made to improve the coal stock in all the power stations with low stocks.

The ministry said that the issue of coal supply to power plants is being addressed in a co-coordinated manner by the three concerned ministries -- power, coal and railways.

It was also agreed during the meeting that the issues with some Damodar Valley Corporation power plants which are affected due to closure of Dhanbad - Chandrapura railway line would be resolved expeditiously.

The statement said that press reports have highlighted the issue of the rise in price of power on the power exchange on October 16, 2017 to Rs 10.8 per unit.

It said that power prices on IEX (Indian Energy Exchange) on October 17, 2017 on an average for the day was Rs 5.45 per unit, and maximum prices were Rs 10.80 only for half an hour from 6.30 PM to 7.00 PM. The prices on October 18, 2017 has dropped to average for the day of Rs 4.33 per unit.

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