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Southern states face power crisis as Telangana protests hit coal supply

The reason: coal production in Andhra Pradesh hit an all-time low Wednesday due to the Telangana strike.

Written by Sreenivas Janyala | Hyderabad |
October 13, 2011 12:25:58 am

Six states in the south,including Goa and the Union Territory of Puducherry,are heading for a major power crisis as power generation at NTPC Ramagundem planthas come down. The reason: coal production in Andhra Pradesh hit an all-time low Wednesday due to the Telangana strike.

Supply to Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) is also hit. Coal production at Singareni Collieries which supplies coal to five power houses in the state,including Ramagundem Power Plant,has come down to less than half as more than 45,000 workers are still on strike demanding a separate state.

Due to shortage of coal,power generation at Ramagundem which provides power to AP,Tamil Nadu,Karnataka,Kerala,Goa and Puducherry,has come down to 2,000 MW from 2,600 MW. Ramagundem gets about 36,000 tonnes coal daily from Singareni but due to the strike the supply has come down to less than 14,000 tonnes.

Coal procurement from other sources was affected partly due to the strike at Coal India. Out of the seven units at Ramagundem,one unit has been shut down due to a technical glitch.

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“We are regulating generation in the remaining six units according to coal availability. We received about 3,000 metric tonnes today morning so we were able to increase generation to 2,040 MW. Whether it can be sustained or not depends on availability of coal,’’ P A John,senior manager,NTPC Ramagundem,said on Wednesday.

Officials said all the six units were producing only 60 to 70 per cent of their original installed capacity of 200 MW each.

As a result of the shortfall in power generation,supply has been affected mainly to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu which usually get 32 per cent and 34 per cent share of power,respectively. “Power supply has also been affected to Maharashtra,Goa,Puducherry and Kerala. Of its share of 32 per cent power from three units in stage one and 33 per cent from three units in stage two,Andhra Pradesh is receiving less than half,’’ an official said.

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NTPC Ramagundem has three units of 200 MW each in stage one,three units of 500 MW each in stage two and one unit of 500 MW in stage three. All the six states have different allocations from each stage.

“Unless we procure more coal in the next couple of days,there is going to be a major crisis,’’,NTPC spokesman E Elbert said.

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First published on: 13-10-2011 at 12:25:58 am

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