Severe shortage of coal at thermal power plants in Punjab has forced power utility PSPCL to cut power generation and impose rotational load shedding at several places in the state.
An official of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) said on Saturday that coal-fired power plants are running at low capacity due to shortage of coal.
A PSPCL official said that due to the critical power situation, coal reserves are left with power plants in the state for five days.
“The plants are running at low capacity,” the official said. He said that they are not being run at full capacity to conserve coal.
Presently the power demand in the state is around 9,000 megawatts (MW).
Officials said that apart from the demand for electricity from the agriculture sector, the high temperature during the day is also increasing the power requirements in the state.
Though PSPCL officials claimed minimum load shedding, there were reports of power cuts between two-three hours at many places in the state.
The official said three private sector power plants are getting coal supply for two days, while the state-owned Ropar Thermal Plant and Lehar Mohabbat Thermal Plant have coal stock for four and five days respectively.
As per the guidelines of the Central Electricity Authority, power plants located at a distance of more than 1,000 km from a coal mine should always have a minimum coal stock of up to 30 days, but this level of stock is not maintained by power plants in the state.
On Friday, the power plants had received some coal supplies to run their operations, the official said.
The official said that in view of the low generation of power, PSPCL is procuring power through the power exchange, but its price is more than Rs 10 per unit, which is very expensive.
PSPCL Chairman and Managing Director A Venuprasad said they have written to the Center to increase the supply of coal to the state.
Officials claimed that the situation is expected to return to normal in the next few days.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NB staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)