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Interview: Mahagenco CMD Sanjay Khandare says, ‘Situation was precarious in Sept & Oct first week, but improved in last one week’

The coal crisis that has hit Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited plants is now abating, Sanjay Khandare, Chairman and Managing Director of MAHAGENCO, tells Yogesh Naik in an interview.

Written by Yogesh Naik | Mumbai |
Updated: October 16, 2021 6:27:04 pm
Sanjay Khandare (File)

The coal crisis that has hit Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited plants is now abating, Sanjay Khandare, Chairman and Managing Director of MAHAGENCO, tells Yogesh Naik in an interview.

How did the shortage happen?

There were numerous reasons. The cost of imported coal went up considerably. It used to cost US $60 per metric tonnes in April and the cost went up to US$ 220 metric tonnes in August. So, the demand for local coal increased. Besides, the electricity demand in Maharashtra increased a lot.

We used to need 2,500 million units in August and the demand went up to 4,500 million units as it was hot and rains decreased. This depleted our stocks. Coal production in the country also decreased.

How serious is the coal shortage in the state?

It is not very serious now. The situation has improved in the last one week. It was precarious in September and the first week of October. We have handled it very well. Because of the efforts of my engineers and officers, we tided over the crisis. We were getting 17 to 18 rakes of coal in September and we get 22 to 24 rakes now. We got 70,000 metric tonnes of coal in September and now we are getting anywhere (in the region of) 1.10 lakh metric tonnes of coal.

How has the state electric generation company been coordinating with the Centre?

We have our team of MahaGenco officials, officers from various coal companies. Nearly 70 officers of MahaGenco were only devoting time to the dispatch job. The Union coal secretary and power secretary are taking a daily review. There are officers from the Railway Ministry too.

Is Maharashtra in touch with other states that are facing power shortage?

We are a part of the group coal management team… on a day-to-day basis, we have meetings. So, we interact with other states too.

Will Maharashtra face load-shedding in the festive season?

There will be no load-shedding. This question can be best answered by our distribution company. But even during the worst times, there was no load-shedding and our distribution company was procuring at higher costs from private companies.

Which are the plants that are closed now due to shortage of coal?

Last week, five plants were closed due to coal shortage. This week, a 210 MW plant at Nashik and 210 MW plant at Bhusaval are closed. They will start as soon as the situation improves.

How much more money is being spent on buying coal from the open market?

We didn’t buy coal from the open market.

When will the coal supply situation completely improve?

It will take a month. The coal dispatches will improve and in November, the demand for power will also fall due to winter setting in.

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