Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “immediate personal attention” to monitor the power generation scenario and take appropriate remedial measures to tide over the crisis in the wake of non-availability of coal stocks.
Considering the precarious financial position of the state, it was not able to procure the required power from the open market as the purchase price has also gone up with the increasing demand.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister asked PM Modi to direct the Ministry of Coal and Railways to allot 20 coal rakes to thermal power stations in Andhra Pradesh. He also sought revival of the stranded and non-working pit head coal plants on emergency basis irrespective of the proceedings before the National Company Law Tribunal.
He said the deep-water well gas available with ONGC and Reliance can be supplied on an emergency basis to 2,300 MW non-working gas based power plants in the state.
“In AP, post-Covid electricity demand has increased by 15 per cent in the last six months and 20 per cent in the past one month. The power sector is being pushed into turmoil due to the shortage of coal. It has become difficult for us to meet the grid demand and circumstances are pushing us towards load shedding,” the Chief Minister said.
The state is currently meeting the electricity demand of about 185-190 million units per day.
The Chief Minister said that the thermal power generating stations of AP Genco, which meet 45 per cent of the state’s energy needs, hardly have coal reserves for a day or two. Genco plants were operating at less than 50 percent of their 90 million units per day capacity.
“Central generating stations are also not able to supply more than 75 per cent of their 40 MU per day capacity. The state is not executing contracts with coal-fired plants to absorb energy from renewable sources (8,000 MW) and , as such, is heavily dependent on market purchases to bridge the shortfall,” Mr Reddy said.
The daily average market price of electricity in the open market increased from Rs 4.6 per kWh on September 15 to Rs 15 per kWh on October 8.
“The rates are increasing day by day in the day-ahead and real-time power markets and have reached the peak of Rs 20 per unit most of the time. Electricity is not available even in few hours due to low generation in the country,” the Chief Minister said. expressed grief.
He feared that the situation is “quite dangerous” and if the situation persists, the financial condition of the power distribution companies will worsen.
Since it was the harvesting season, the crops required more water and (lack of electricity and water) would dry up the fields.
The Chief Minister urged the Prime Minister, “One time unplanned power cut will lead to chaotic situation in the society as was seen in (year) 2012. So I request you to look at the scenario to avoid such chaotic situations. Get immediate personal attention for monitoring.” Minister.
The Chief Minister also requested that banks and lending institutions be directed to liberally provide working capital loans to power distribution companies for making coal payments and making market purchases.