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Web Exclusive | March 2013

Coal shortage brings longer power cuts to Udupi, Mlore

Mangalore and Udupi are facing 3-5 hours of power cuts due to coal shortage at Udupi Power Corporation's 1,200 mw thermal power plant. Loadshedding started a week back with about two hours of power outage. In the past two days, it has become unbearable with the power outages going beyond four hours per day, including a midnight shutdown.

On March 19 UPCL was generating 700 mw as against 1,200 mw which is nearly 45 per cent less than the installed capacity. The next day, it was down to 390 mw. Sources added that the consignment of 72,000 tonne had arrived at the New Mangalore Port on March 20 and it was being transported to the UPCL's site at Nandikoor.

UPCL needs 11,000 tonne of coal per day to operate its plant at full capacity and the March 20's load is sufficient for full operations of the plant for a week. Mescom officials hoped that the plant would be able to ramp up production by midnight and power cuts could be reduced to less than half from Thursday. Two more shiploads of coal is expected to arrive in the next two weeks.

UPCL supplies 8 per cent of its generated power to Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (Mescom), which is vested with the responsibility of distribution of power to the districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Shimoga and Chikmagalur. When power generation goes down, Mescom gets 8 per cent of generated power and not the installed capacity.

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