Telangana has adequate coal stocks, says Telangana Energy Minister

Published : October 11, 2021 19:22 IST

Telangana Minister for Energy G. Jagadish Reddy (second from left) and others at the relaunch of Srisailam hydro power Station near Eegalapenta in Nagarkurnool district in October 2020.

Notwithstanding the Ministry of Coal’s reassurance that ample coal stocks are available across the country to meet the demands of power plants and that any fears of disruptions in power supply are entirely misplaced, the situation on the grounds indicates otherwise. Thermal power stations in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra are facing an acute shortage of coal.

But Telangana is the bright spark in the gloom, having adequate coal reserves for the next 10 days, with officials saying that there will be no shortage “in the immediate future”. And even more encouragingly, Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), a company jointly owned by the Telangana government and the Union government, has restored its operations to full capacity levels after the recent rains, with efforts on to supply additional coal to neighbouring States including Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. SCCL, which presently produces nearly 1.8 lakh tonnes of coal a day, supplies around 30,000 tonnes of coal to Telangana’s thermal power stations and exports coal to Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

Speaking to Frontline, Telangana Energy Minister G. Jagadish Reddy said: “There are no concerns over coal stockpiles or the production of power in my State. Telangana’s thermal power units require around 30,000-32,000 tonnes of coal every day. And this is being fully met from the state-owned Singareni Collieries. Other States are having issues because they import most of their coal requirements and are dependent on international supplies. Telangana does not import any coal. The fact that we have never felt the need to import coal is a clear indication of our self-sufficiency and the comfortable position we are in.” As per the Telangana State Power Generation Corporation Limited’s (TSGENCO’s) website, Telangana’s total installed thermal power generation capacity is 3,772.5 mega watts (MW).

The Minister disclosed that TSGENCO currently holds around 3.8 lakh tonnes of coal stocks. Besides this, the 2,600 MW National Thermal Power Corporation power station situated at Ramagundam in Peddapalli district, which also contributes to Telangana’s power supplies, has around 1.2 lakh tonnes of coal reserves, which the Minister said would last another four to five days.

Jagadish Reddy also said Telangana enjoyed the advantage that all its thermal power generation was through pit-head power stations which were located close to the coal mines. This gives the State “a priority in getting coals stocks,” the Minister said. Stressing that the plant load factor in Telangana (73.31 per cent between April and October) was way above the national average which hovers under 60 per cent, the Minister said that even in the event of a severe shortage of coal, Telangana could ramp up its hydel power generation, the State having an installed hydel power capacity of 2441.8 MW. Said Jagadish Reddy: “Telangana is the only State in the country to supply uninterrupted quality power to farm, industrial, commercial and domestic sectors.”

The Minister was non-committal when asked whether Telangana would come to the aid of neighbouring States who are facing a shortage of coal stocks. “My concern is Telangana, not any other State”, he quipped. He, however, said that SCCL was already exporting 1.5 lakh tonnes of coal every day, including to Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Said Reddy: “Telangana’s and NTPC-Ramagundam requirement’s is hardly six to seven rakes per day, nearly 30-32 rakes of coal are being supplied to other States every day.”

Meanwhile, Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs, tweeted: “Reviewed coal production & supply situation in the country. Assuring everyone that there is absolutely no threat of disruption in power supply. There is sufficient coal stock of 43 million tonnes with @CoalIndiaHQ equivalent to 24 days coal demand.”