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Web Exclusive | January 2013

Indian power plants still face fuel crunch: CEA

As per the Central Electricity Authority's data, as many as 34 power plants in India had fuel stock for less than a week as on December 30. The year gone by ended on a dismal note for power sector as over 34 thermal stations struggled with generation due to short supply of coal.

In the northern region, as many as eight stations in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan faced severe fuel scarcity mainly on account of inadequate availability of domestic coal, CEA said. In the western region (Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra), 13 power stations suffered on account of fuel shortage.

Maharashtra was worst hit as seven of the 10 power stations were hit by fuel shortage. And five power plants in the Southern region comprising Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala faced scarcity mainly on account of less receipt from Mahanadi Coalfields, a unit of Coal India.

Power generation at eight power stations in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, in the eastern region, took a hit due to less receipt of fuel from Coal India. Meanwhile, the Power Ministry and Coal Ministry are working in tandem to deal with the problem of fuel shortage.

The long pending issue of signing of the Fuel Supply Agreements (FSAs) between power companies and Coal India, which may solve the problem of shortage to an extent, would be done soon as has been assured by Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.

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