Coal supply disruption shuts power units, hits NALCO plant

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

BHUBANESWAR - Coal supply disruption triggered by an agitation in Orissa’s Angul district has led to shutting down of units of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and may force aluminium manufacturer NALCO to cut output, officials said Tuesday.

The supply from Mahanadi coalfields through railways rakes stopped since Feb 17 following an economic blockade at Talcher in Angul district by local residents demanding stoppage of all trains passing through the area.

The coal stock at the NTPC coal fired power plant at Kaniha in Angul district fell to about 8,000 tonnes and the power generation was down to 400 MW since Sunday, the plant’s executive director R. Venkateswaran told IANS.

The 3,000 MW capacity plant which supplies power to countrys eastern and southern region through the state grid consumes 57,000-58,000 tonnes of coal every day for full operation of all its six units of each 500 MW.

Venkateswaran said five units have already been shut and if the situation does not improve in a day or two, they may have to shut the remaining one unit.

Similarly the coal supply has been stopped to the aluminium plant of NALCO at Angul. A senior company official said the aluminium smelter has only a stock of about two lakh tonnes of coal which can last for only about ten days.

Although the shortage has not yet affected aluminium production, the official said situation will be grim if the coal stock get exhausted.

“We will take stock of the situation in a day or two and will decide out further course of action,” the official told IANS.

While the state-run NTPC is Indias largest power producer, the Bhubaneswar-headquartered NALCO is Asia’s largest integrated aluminium producer.

Filed under: Economy

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