Chennai: After facing coal shortage over the reduced allocation of railway rakes, Tangedco wanted the railway network between Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) and Paradip Port in Odisha to be increased to accommodate 38 rakes per day to transport coal by 2025.
Tangedco has a fuel supply agreement with the MCL to procure 19.56 million tonnes annually, and transport the coal through railway rakes from the mine to Paradip Port from where it’s shipped to Ennore, Karaikal and Tuticorin ports.
According to the policy note of the electricity department, the daily capacity to load coal at MCL for Paradip Port is 32 rakes only. “This network is shared by seven power utilities and their daily requirement totals to 40 rakes per day. This may increase to 56 due to upcoming projects like North Chennai Thermal Power Plant Stage III, Ennore SEZ TPP, ETPS Expansion TPP and Udangudi Thermal Power Project Stage I of Tangedco, ” it said.
Pointing out that the additional coal requirement for upcoming power projects is 16 rakes/day, Tangedco said that the overall requirement will increase to 38 rakes from 2025 onwards. “The existing capacity of 22 rakes per day at MCL will not be sufficient to meet the requirement. Hence, the railway network in MCL to Paradip Port must be increased significantly,” it said.
Tangedco is seeking the improvement due to coal shortage, owing shortage of rakes, which affects the shipping of coal from Pardip to its existing thermal power plants.
Chief Minister MK Stalin on April 22 had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking allocation of 22 rakes to ensure supply of 72,000 tonnes of coal. But only 14 rakes have been allotted that supply merely 50,000 tonnes.
“In February and March this year, despite efforts taken to improve the realisation of domestic coal, Tangedco, on an average, received 12.4 rakes per day as against the required 22 to run all the plants,” a senior Tangedco official said.