“We have coal stock for three days in all the major thermal power stations such as Mettur and in some of the power stations like Thoothukudi Thermal Power Station, we have coal stock for even six days,” Thangamani told DT Next.
Recently, Opposition parties had raised the issue of power scarcity in the State but Thangamani denied the accusations as just political stunt.
However, when Chief Minister, Edappadi K Palaniswami wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding more coal allocation for the State, it became evident that the Tamil Nadu was facing acute shortage and it may witness power outages if sufficient coal is not supplied to the State.
Though Palaniswami said that the State had only three days of coal stock and it gets only 40 per cent of the required coal, Thangamani asserted that it is maintaining three days’ coal stock and there is no shortage of coal for power production.
“Earlier, the State used to maintain 15 days of coal stock and it has now been reduced to three days but that does not mean that coal stock will deplete after three days,” said Thangamani.
He said that the State is getting enough coal to maintain the available stock. “Yesterday too we got around 13 racks and the aim is to get at least 16 to 17 racks per day. To ensure the daily coal supply for the state, I have planned to meet Union Minister (Piyush Goyal), on Tuesday,” he said.
The central government usually sends reduced coal stock to Tamil Nadu between May and October due to the availability of wind energy.
However, due to the sudden decline in wind energy production, the coal stock could not be maintained as excess coal was used up, though it should not be a problem as we managed to have enough stock, said Thangamani.
He further added that the State has also decided to import coal. “For the last two years, we have not imported coal but now we have got permission to import coal directly.
A tender will be called shortly, and international bidders will be invited to get 30 lakh tonnes of coal. Once the tenders are finalised, it will take 20 to 25 days for the shipment to reach Chennai,” he added.