August 31, 2016

No power plant stranded for want of coal

Union Minister for power Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said there is no thermal power plant in India which is stranded for want of coal, largely due to increase in coal production and improved offtake of the fuel by generation plants.

“The nation as a whole has sufficient supply of coal. Even if no coal is mined for the next 50-60 days, the power industry can be rest assured that it would get an uninterrupted supply of coal to keep plants running,” he added.

In his address at the investors’ conference here, Goyal indicated that the proposed trade union strike slated for September 2 would not have any impact on the supply situation.  He said massive quantities of coal have been allocated through e-auctions and the new coal linkage policy is under dicussion and finalisation.

“Creating sufficient power generation capacity, helping state discoms to turn around and making power affordable to all are the priority areas of the Government,” he noted.

Terming the UDAY (Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana) as the game changer, Goyal said its impact has been on the financial side as losses of discoms are coming down.

“Interest costs have come down and the results are encouraging. The states are serious this time in implementing power sector reforms,” he said.

According to the minister, affordability of power will be very important for the new industries to be set up and investments to flow into India especially when the appetite for expensive power is not there.  Citing the example of Punjab, which has a set a new, lower power tariff for the new industries being set up in the state, Goyal asked Maharashtra also to follow suit.  He urged the Maharashtra CM to consider a separate power tariff window for new industries and other consumers to boost power consumption.

“By 2020, India can double its power generation. That would give confidence and comfort to the industry, farmers need not be distressed and homes will not have to run dark,” Goyal said.

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