The Gujarat government’s demand for 19 million tonne of coal in the next four years for generation of an extra 4,000 megawatt (mw) of power has been approved by the Railway and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal, an official said.
The minister has also approved providing extra rakes for transporting coal to the thermal plants in Ukai, Wanakbori and Gandhinagar, state Energy Minister Saurabh Patel said.
“In addition to increase in rake for supply of coal to the thermal power plants, the state will also get additional 19 million tonne of coal for generating 4,000 mw of power in the next four years,” Patel told PTI on phone on Ttoday.
Goyal gave the assurance to Patel when he met him in New Delhi on Monday in an energy ministers’ meet, he said.
Thermal power plantsin the state had been facing closure due to inadequate supply of coal in May and June when the demand for power had soared to about to a record 16,000 mw due tosevere heat wave conditions.
“So, the Gujarat Urja Vidyut Nigam (GUVNL) had started importing about 1.5 to 2 lakh tonne of coalfor continuing and maintaining generation of power in the thermal power plants,” a top official of Gujarat State Electricity Company (GSCL), a unit of GUVNL, toldPTI today .
The usage of imported coal has imposed an additional financial burden of 35 paise per unit on the consumers in the state, according to the official.
These plants have been on average generating 3,000 mw of power against their installed capacity of around 4,000 mw, besides another 500-mw power plant at Sikka in Saurashtra which imports coal, as per the official.
The state government took up the issue with the railway and power ministries for ensuring adequate supply of coal in the plants in Ukai, Wanakbori and Gandhinagar and avoiding worst power situation in the state, Patel said.
The government has ordered coal companies to prioritise state-run power projects for coal supply.
In a notification issued in June, the government had asked Coal India to make out-of-turn allotment of coal to central and state electricity generation companies.