The State is staring at a severe coal shortage and has only stocks enough for 3.5 days. According to sources in the Tangedco, the company is yet to supply 1.2 lakh tonnes, which will last for more than two days. The last shipment came in March, after which the firm has been citing various reasons for the delay.
Tangedco sources said the company first cited COVID as the reason and then declared force majeure. “We have rejected the force majeure declared by the company and we are insisting them to supply coal. If not, we will initiate action,” said sources.
Sources in thermal power stations wondered why no action was taken against the company for over six months.
As of Tuesday, the stocks in the plants in North Chennai, Mettur and Tuticorin, with a total generation capacity of 4,320 MW, would last only for 3.5 days as against the norm of having two weeks reserve coal stock. The North Chennai thermal units have coal stock for 2.3 days, while Mettur and Tuticorin have stocks for 2.6 and 2.3 days respectively. The Tangedco’s thermal plants require 72,000 tonnes of coal a day for power generation. In the State, 500 MW thermal units in each of the three central generation stations—Vallur, NLC Tamil Nadu Power Ltd at Tuticorin and NNTPS at Cuddalore—were shut down due to coal shortage.
A senior Tangedco official said private power plants, which supply about 3,380 MW, are also facing severe shortages and have reduced generation by 40 to 50 per cent.