NASHIK: The seven thermal power stations across Maharashtra are unable to generate power at optimum levels due to lack of availability of backup coal on their premises.
The total backup coal with the seven power stations on Saturday was about 6.5 lakh metric tonne, whereas the daily use at these seven plants is 1.45 lakh metric tonne for optimum generation, officials with the state power generation utility told TOI.
Of the seven thermal power stations in the state, one each is in north Maharashtra’s Nashik and Bhusawal, one is in the Marathwada region at Parli in Beed and one each at Chandrapur, Koradi, Khaparkheda and Paras in Vidarbha. The installed capacity of these seven stations is 9,540 megawatt (MW), but the current generation is around 6,900 megawatt.
The coal backup at the power stations in Nashik and Bhusawal has dropped to one or two days, whereas it is expected to have backup at least for seven days. While the situation has been like this for the past three to four months, it is being felt acutely now due to the rise in demand for power.
On Saturday, the state had a total power demand of 24,551 megawatt as against the total generation of 16,993 megawatt. “The backup with the stations ranges from one to seven days and the situation has been the same for the past four months at least. The problem now is the rise in demand for which more assured coal backup is required. In case of that not taking place, the generation stations are not working to their optimum levels,” said a spokesperson of the Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (MSPGCL). Most of the coal supply in the state comes from the mines in Chandrapur and parts of Vidarbha. The coal is supplied through rail rakes from Chandrapur and Nagpur to Beed, Bhusawal, and further to Nashik.
State deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Friday said the MVA government had decided to import coal to some extent from outside the country for power generation even as the efforts were on to get one coal mine in Chhattisgarh allocated to the power department in Maharashtra. The decision will benefit Nashik Thermal Power Station at Eklahare most, as it is nearer to the ports and farthest from the coal mines.