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Coal crisis: Industry experts urge Coal India to immediately resume supply to prevent collateral damage

06:19 PM Oct 15, 2021 | Agencies

Industry bodies urge Coal India to immediately resume continuous coal supply to the aluminium Industry to prevent closure. Aluminium Association of India (AAI) said aluminium Industry has not received any relief with respect to the ongoing coal supply crisis.

In the spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat and commitments of domestic coal availability, the Aluminium Industry has planned their operation, any import coal arrival will take 90-120 days of cycle period from purchase to consumption, therefore sudden decision by Ministry of Coal / Coal India to stop the domestic coal supply to the Aluminium Industry has resulted in complete chaos.

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Indian Aluminium plants are grappling with critically low levels of coal stock, with no recourse or alternative means to meet their power needs and keep the plants operational. If coal supply is not restored immediately, it would lead to irrevocable collateral damage of these national assets.

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Any power outage in Aluminium plant will lead to catastrophic impact and complete shutdown which will take minimum 12 months of recovery, resulting in job loss of more than 8 lakh people, Banks will have debt exposure of over Rs 1 lakh crore and additional National forex loss of Rs 90,000 crore ($12 billion)

Aluminium Industry with total investments of Rs 1.4 lakh crore ($ 20 Billion) have a capacity of 4.1 MTPA (2nd Largest in the World) which creates livelihood for over 8 lakh people and 4,000 SMEs.

Aluminium production is a 24*7, 365 days continuous process industry there is no provision to switch off and switch on. It is highly power intensive industry, just to illustrate 1 ton of Aluminium requires 14,500 Units of Continuous Power, which is 15 times in comparison to Steel (1000 units per ton) and 145 times as that for Cement (100 units per ton).

To meet stringent and continuous power demand Aluminium Industry has set up their inhouse Captive Power Plant CPPs of 9,400 MW (9.4 GW i.e. 34 per cent of Thermal CPP capacity of the country) with an investment of Rs 50,000 crore.

Uninterrupted Power requirement of 9.4 GW (9,400 MW) of Aluminium industry is 6 per cent of the total country's demand (145 GW) and 123 per cent of total energy traded at the Indian Energy Exchange (~ 7.6 GW in 2021). Therefore, technically it is not feasible to get this massive power from the power Grid.

Therefore, Aluminium Industry cannot import Power and can only meet their power requirement through CPPs for which Aluminium Industry requires 1.5 lakh ton of domestic coal daily ( 55 million ton every year).

To meet the extensive Coal demand, Aluminium Industry has set up plants in the vicinity of Coal bearing areas, with Power plants designed to operate on domestic coal.

(With inputs from IANS)

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