Coal crisis: UP plans to import 1.9 MT of coal worth Rs 2,900 crore
Against a daily coal requirement of 87,900 tonnes, UPRVUN is getting 30 per cent less supply of coal at about 61,000 tonnes. As such, UPRVUN has proposed to procure 10 per cent of its coal requirement, or nearly 1.895 MT, which is estimated to cost Rs 2,900 crore. As a result, the cost of power generation in the state is also expected to rise by Re 0.70 per unit.
To tide over the current coal crisis, the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government state power utility has planned to import almost 1.9 million tonnes (MT) of the commodity worth Rs 2,900 crore.
The thermal power units of UP Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam (UPRVUN) are facing an acute shortage of coal to fire its plants with the mercury well past the searing 40 degrees Celsius mark.
However, against a daily coal requirement of 87,900 tonnes, the Nigam is getting 30 per cent less supply of coal at about 61,000 tonnes.
As such, the Nigam has proposed to procure 10 per cent of its coal requirement, or nearly 1.895 MT, which is estimated to cost Rs 2,900 crore. As a result, the cost of power generation in the state is also expected to rise by Re 0.70 per unit.
According to Nigam managing director P Guruprasad, the coal import price has been calculated at Rs 15,341 per tonne based on the coal import tender floated by NTPC Vindhyachal Rihand thermal power project.
However, the coal import proposal needs the approval of the state energy watchdog, UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC).
Recently, UPERC secretary Sanjay Kumar Singh had issued notice to the Nigam over its coal import proposal following a petition filed by UP power consumers’ forum president Avadhesh Kumar Verma.
Now, Verma has claimed that if the coal import proposal was okayed, the Nigam would have to cough up much higher — almost Rs 5,000 crore — in total outgo. He said the prevailing coal import price would settle at Rs 17,000 crore, while the Nigam had benchmarked its calculation based on NTPC’s January tender.
“The consequent hike in UP energy cost would be almost Re 1 per unit, which would ultimately be passed on to the state energy consumers,” he warned.
Meanwhile, the UP energy department has passed the buck on coal import to the Nigam, directing it to take a call in public interests and according to the directions of the Centre and the energy regulator.
Earlier, the UPERC had sought a reply from the Nigam as to whether the imported coal, which has high GCV (gross calorific value), could be used in its depreciated units having a lower GCV range for operations.
The regulator wondered why only the UPRVUN was importing coal and not the other power generation companies in the state.
Moreover, the watchdog had asked for details regarding power being supplied to the UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) against the target generation over the last one month; and whether there was any hindrance on account of coal shortage.
In UP, the daily power demand has already breached 21,000 megawatts (MW) while the supply is around 19,000 MW to 20,000 MW leading to outages.