As per the Central Electricity Authority’s daily coal-stock report, Mettur Station I and II have coal stock for only three days as against the required stock of one month.
According to Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation outage report, 600 MW Mettur Thermal Power Station II was kept under standby from January 19 and 210 MW unit 4 of Mettur Station I from February 10 due to poor coal stock. The 600 MW unit was kept under shutdown since December 24 due to fall in demand but the coal shortage has prolonged the outage.
A senior Tangedco official said that due to fall in power demand, the utility had kept the 600 MW Mettur station II on standby to make use of the low-cost power available in the market as per the merit order despatch. There was a contract workers’ problem over unloading coal brought through railway rakes, said the official, adding that a contractor who had the monopoly on coal unloading contracts of a thermal power plant was replaced with a new contractor recently, which led to trouble. “There was no coal shortage at Mettur Station I where its own staff oversee coal unloading,” the official added. Now, Tangedco officials are working to resolve the issue so that coal stock is increased and generation resumes, he said.
On Friday evening, the State met peak demand of 14,199 MW with the central generating stations and power purchase contributing 5,010 MW and 4,995 MW respectively while the State’s own thermal plants supplying only 1,905 MW out of its total capacity of 4,320 MW. The Tangedco power managers expect that demand would go up further and is likely to cross the all-time high of 17,000 MW this summer.