karnataka: Coal supply hit, Karnataka stares at power crisis | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Karnataka is staring at more frequent and longer unscheduled power cuts as generation has been hit by an acute shortage of coal, reports BV Shivashankar.
The state, which boasted surplus power with installed capacity of 30,523MW till a few months ago, is coping with frequent outages since mid-September. In Bengaluru, where the state assured uninterrupted power supply, there are outages for hours on end in several localities. Officials warn of frequent loadshedding in the near future.
The main cause for the crisis is shortfall in supply of coal to thermal power plants.
State plants need 11 rakes of coal daily
At 5.45pm Thursday, total generation was only 4,633MW when the demand was 7,493MW, and this led to a blackout in several areas of Bengaluru and rest of Karnataka too. Karnataka has three major coalfired plants —Raichur Thermal Power Plant, Bellary Thermal Power Plant and Yermarus Thermal Power Plant — with a cumulative installed capacity of 5,020MW. They need at least 11 rakes of coal (1 rake is 4,000 tonnes) daily. The supply has dwindled to 6 rakes and officials said the stock available with plants is not sufficient to meet a day’s demand.
“Efforts are on to get additional coal from Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd and Talcher Coalfields,” said V Ponnuraj, managing director, Karnataka Power Corporation Limited. The RTPS, with installed capacity of 1,720MW, operated only four of eight plants and generated 640MW on Thursday. Only one of three units at BTPS was operational and it generated 432MW against the 1,700MW capacity. The YTPS produced 635MW against installed capacity of 1,600MW with only one of two units operating.
Hydro power plants with commutative capacity of generating 4,701MW failed to deliver as they produced only 2,200MW and solar units generated 726MW as against capacity of 7,500MW. The supply from the central grid also came down to 2,500MW from 4,415MW. “We have requested the Centre for more coal and the situation will improve shortly,” energy minister V Sunil Kumar.
While this dampened the festive spirit of people’s Dasara celebrations, industries are hit hard just when they’re hoping for a recovery from the Covid-induced slowdown.
“Unless the government takes quick steps to improve power supply, we’ll miss the opportunity of a speedy recovery,” said S Sampathraman, chairman, All-India Manufacturers’ Organisation.
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