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Amid coal shortage, Andhra CM Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy seeks PM Modi's intervention over fears of power crisis

12:33 PM Oct 09, 2021 | FPJ Web Desk

Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday raised concerns and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's urgent intervention towards the energy crisis in the state owing to the coal shortage and poor finances of power distribution firms. He also appealed the PM to initiate remedial measures and keep a close eye on the power generation scenario on daily basis.

In a letter to PM Modi, Jagan Mohan Reddy urged Modi to direct the Coal Ministry and the Railways to allot 20 coal rakes to thermal power stations in Andhra Pradesh. Citing state's precarious financial situation, leaving it incapable of purchasing required power from the open market as the purchase prices have also increased with growing demand.

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He also sought revival of stranded and non-working pit head coal plants on an emergency basis regardless of the ongoing proceedings before the National Companies Law Tribunal. This will save the coal transport time and quantity limitations in coal transportation to non-pit head coal plants.

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Deep-water well gas available with ONGC and Reliance could be supplied on an emergency basis to the 2,300 MW stranded/non-working gas plants in the state, Reddy said.

"The deficit of nearly 500 MW from central generating stations due to plant maintenance can be bridged by reviving the plants at the earliest or the maintenance be postponed," the chief minister wrote.

In the letter, he also urged PM Modi to direct banks/lending institutions to offer working capital loans liberally to distribution companies till the crisis is resolved in order to make coal payments and undertake market purchases.

The Chief Minister also underlined that post-Covid power demand in the state shot by 15% in the last six months and by 20% in the last one month. This along with coal shortage is leading the energy sector towards turmoil, he added.

The Chief Minister also underlined that post-Covid power demand in the state shot by 15% in the last six months and by 20% in the last one month. This along with coal shortage is leading the energy sector towards turmoil, he added

Andhra Pradesh is currently meeting power demand of about 185-190 million units per day and the Thermal power generating stations of APGENCO, which are responsible for meeting 45 per cent of the state's energy needs, is hardly left with coal stocks for one or two days. Also, APGENCO plants were functioning at less than 50 per cent of their 90 million units per day capacity.

"The central generating stations have also not been able to supply more than 75 per cent of their 40 MU per day capacity. In order to absorb energy from the 8,000 MW of renewable energy capacity, the Andhra Pradesh state has not been executing contracts with coal-based plants and consequently, it depends heavily on market purchases for sourcing its shortfall energy."

Reddy also highlighted that the daily average market price of power in the open market increased from Rs 4.6 per kWh on September 15 to Rs 15 per kWh on October 8.

"The rates in day-ahead and real-time power markets are soaring by the day and have reached a peak of Rs 20 per unit at most time. Power is also not available at certain hours due to less generation in the country," he said.

"It is quite an alarming situation and finances of power distribution companies would deteriorate further if the situation persists," he added. The Andhra CM also pressed that more water is needed in the current last stage of harvesting. If power supply is denied, fields would dry up.

With IANS Inputs

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