CHENNAI: As many as seven companies have bid for the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) tender for procuring 7.3 lakh tonnes of imported coal for blending with domestic coal in its thermal power plants.
However, activists question the timing of tender as the coal imported through previous tender remains unused. Tangedco had floated an e-tender cum e-reverse auction bid for the procurement of 7.3 lakh tonnes of gross calorific value 5,000 kcal/kg imported steam coal for October to December.
The utility had procured 4.8 lakh tonnes of imported coal earlier this year at $145 per tonne.
A senior Tangedco official said that 7 companies have participated in the bids. “The lowest bidder will be identified through an e-reverse auction process,” he said. “With the wind power generation starting to dip, thermal power plants are being operated at full capacity. By next month, power demand will dip, and it will remain less till January. So, the imported coal will be utilised then.”
S Neelakanta Pillai, retired Tangedco executive engineer and founder of Citizen’s Contribution in Democracy, said that the purchase of coal at this point of time is not advisable considering the high cost of $135 per ton.
“There’s no need for import it for October to December, when the power demand would be less considering the northeast monsoon. If the import is for next year, the tender should be delayed considering the cost might come down further,” he added.