Moily seeks PM’s help for more coal supply
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Intensifying the turf war with the coal ministry, power minister M Veerappa Moily has sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention in expediting adequate coal and gas supply to fuel-starved power plants, failing which, he cautioned, that generation capacity worth 43,000 MW may get stranded.
In a letter to the Prime Minister on October 10, Moily said state-run Coal India Limited (CIL) has inked Fuel Supply Agreements (FSAs) for nearly 67,000 MWs till March 31, 2009 entailing coal supply of 305 Million Tonne per year. But between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2012, CIL-linked capacity of 23,000 MW has been commissioned and the PSU has to supply them 102 MT of fuel each year.
"Thus, while the total coal requirement of CIL-linked units up to March 31 is 407 MT but the PSU is targeted to supply 347 MT for 2012-13 leaving a shortfall of 60 MT," the power minister said in his letter.
Moily said generation-based coal requirement for the plants designed to operate on domestic coal is 788 MT against the anticipated availability of 612 MT which would leave a gap of 176 MT in the terminal year of the 12th Plan (2016-17).
He said while CIL has issued Letters of Assurance for a total capacity of 1,03,000 MW of which 95,000 MW is under construction or has been commissioned in the same period, but the maharatna company has offered to enter into FSAs with a total capacity of only 60,000 MW, implying that the remaining capacity will get no coal.
The power minister also asked Singh to intervene in asking the petroleum ministry to explore the possibility of entrusting its PSUs to import gas for some plants which uses it as a feedstock fuel. Moily said gas-based plants of 19000 MW are running at an average Plant Load Factor of only 46 per cent during April-September period much below the 90 per cent PLF at which they can operate.
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