TANGEDCO’s coal situation has improved, bringing relief to officials after stocks in various thermal units had declined to less than five days in the last few months.
In November, on an average, TANGEDCO was able to get 452 rakes of coal and each rake was carrying 3,800 tonnes of coal from Coal India mines.
As of December 16, TANGEDCO thermal units had an average coal stock for 10 days.
In October, the coal stock position remained the same, with TANGEDCO units dependent on the daily coal supply through rail. Nearly 50 million units of power are being purchased from the Electricity Exchange.
“In the entire October, all TANGEDCO thermal units had coal stock for an average of two days, with Mettur’s small units having coal stock for one day and Vallur joint venture’s three units having coal stock for one day. On a daily basis, we get not less than 90,000 tonnes of coal through rail and ships,” said a senior TANGEDCO official.
TANGEDCO is also receiving 27.427 million units from the long-term agreement with private power generators, and through the Electricity Exchange, nearly 50 million units were purchased on Sunday when almost all offices and companies were closed.
“After several letters to the Union Power Ministry, coal supplies increased from the first week of November and by the end of that month, more than 452 rail rakes had brought coal to Mettur, North Chennai, and Tuticorin,” said the official.
“On a daily basis, we received not less than 20 rakes against the less than 15 rakes in the previous months. It is after seven years that we have received so much coal in a single month. This has helped in increasing the coal stock in all TANGEDCO thermal units,” said the official.
Due to availability of local coal, TANGEDCO stopped import of coal completely, thereby saving ₹500 crore annually. Despite the coal stocks increasing, Tamil Nadu power minister Senthil Balaji called on Union Power Minister RK Singh and asked to release more coal.
Tamil Nadu has received only 17.11 million tonne from the Centre so far, which is only about 72 per cent.
“Chandrabila coal block in Odisha was allotted to Tamil Nadu in 2016 to develop the coal mine and excavate coal within 66 months. But, we (TN) could not get clearance from the forest department in the past. So, we urge the central government to extend the timeline and revise the time schedule for the development of the Chandrabila coal block,” said Balaji.