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Depleting coal inventory warns energy crisis in 12 states

Depleting coal inventory warns energy crisis in 12 states

The depleting coal inventory of domestic thermal power plants has prompted public sector power engineers to warn of an approaching energy crisis in 12 states.

The power crisis could deteriorate owing to the low coal inventory to fire thermal power units, according to All India Power Engineers Federation chairman Shailendra Dubey.

Dubey told the media that after October 2021, the coal issue is resurfacing in 12 states, adding that domestic electricity consumption touched a 38-year high in the first week of April 2022.

In October 2021, there was a 1.1% power shortage; by April 2022, it had increased to 1.4%.

He said the power crisis might intensify due to a lack of coal to fuel thermal power plants.

The power interruptions ranging from 3 to 8.7% are occurring in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Jharkhand, and Haryana.

To avoid a crisis, he asked the government to take immediate action to replenish coal inventories in thermal power plants.

Daily electricity demand in Uttar Pradesh has now surpassed 21,000 megawatts (MW), while supply is between 19,000 and 20,000 MW.

R K Singh, the Union Power Minister, has blamed the Russia-Ukraine conflict for the steep increase in imported coal costs. It is due to a lack of available coal-transporting railway waggons.

Dubey warned that 453 wagons are required to provide coal to thermal power plants, but only 379 were available in the first week of April. This figure has now risen to 415.

He said that the present scenario is that coal demand has climbed by 9% over the previous year. In 12 states, there are just eight days of coal remaining in the thermal power plants.

Although UP is not experiencing a significant coal shortage, the UP Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam power plants have coal stocks of 26% more than the national average.

The current coal inventory in the Nigam’s four thermal power plants is 511,700 tonnes, compared to a total required coal inventory of 1.97 million tonnes.
Dubey said as the mercury increases in the following days, so will the demand for electricity. As a result, the electricity situation would deteriorate further.

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