State-run power generation companies in Maharashtra, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Rajashthan and Madhya Pradesh owe Rs 6,477.5 crore to Coal India Ltd amid the country struggling with coal shortages.
Currently, the country is experiencing an energy crisis due to the shortage of coal.
While Maharashtra State Power Generation Company owes a maximum of Rs 2,608.07 crore to Coal India (CIL), West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited (WBPDCL) is to pay Rs 1,066.40 crore to the PSU, sources say.
Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Ltd – a Jharkhand government enterprise – owes coal rights of Rs 1,018.22 crore to CIL, followed by Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd (Rs 823.92 crore), Madhya Pradesh Power Generating Company ( Rs 531.42 crore) and Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd (Rs 429.47 crore), they added.
According to the sources, although the royalties for public power generation companies in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and West Bengal are very high, CIL has never regulated the supply of these gencos and provided adequate supply as per the plan of the sub-group and the availability of rakes.
WBPDCL has its own captive blocks. The production of its captive block is sufficient to meet the requirements of their end-use factories, according to the communication received from the Coal Controller Organization.
Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) supplies coal to various thermal power stations like TSGENCO, APGENCO, NTPC, KPCL and MAHAGECO as well as other customers like steel, pharmaceutical and cement industries.
SCCL supplies coal in accordance with the Fuel Supply Agreement (FSA)/Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the State and Central Producers.
Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation (APGENCO) owes Rs 764.70 crore to SCCL followed by Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL) Rs 514.14 crore, NTPC Tamil Nadu Energy Company Ltd (NTECL) Rs 59.19 crore and Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd Rs 32.79 crore, the sources said.
On April 24, Coal Secretary AK Jain said that the current energy crisis is mainly due to the sharp decline in electricity generation from different fuel sources and not the unavailability of domestic coal.
Jain had attributed the low coal inventories at power plants to several factors such as increased electricity demand due to the boom in the post-COVID-19 economy, the early onset of summer, a surge the price of gas and imported coal and a sharp fall in the production of electricity by coastal thermal power stations.
“This is not a coal crisis, but a mismatch between electricity demand and supply…Electricity demand has seen a recovery as the economy has rebounded, summers have come early and the price of imported gas and coal has risen sharply,” Jain said. had explained.
He said a series of measures were already underway to improve the country’s total power supply. Gas-based electricity generation, which has dropped drastically in the country, has aggravated the crisis.
“Some of the thermal power plants in India were built along the coast so that imported coal could be used, imported from neighboring countries like Indonesia… But with the sharp rise in the price of imported coal, they reduced the imports,” Jain had said.
Coastal thermal power plants are now producing around half of their capacity due to the sharp rise in the price of imported coal. This results in a gap between demand and supply of electricity.
The secretary had further stated that the states in the south and west were dependent on imported coal. And when domestic coal is shipped by railcars/rakes to the national coal plants in these states to compensate for the loss of imported coal production, the turnaround time for the rakes is over 10 days, creating problems with the availability of rakes for other plants. .
Since last year, the railways have loaded more coal than ever, even reducing rake supply to other sectors to meet increased demand from the power sector. There was a good load of rakes in March.
Since Coal India is a state-owned company, the PSU is expected to bridge the gap between fuel demand and supply by providing additional coal. Last year, CIL supplied approximately 18% more coal to the electricity sector, as there was a stockpile of fuel of 100 million tons.