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Tamil Nadu asks Centre for more coal to fire its power plants

PW Bureau 

The minister also highlighted the issues faced by Tangedco in evacuating coal from the Chandrabila coal block in Odisha Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government has requested the Centre to raise its supply of coal to the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corp (Tangedco) to allow the power utility to meet the rising power demand in the state, in the absence of wind power. Tamil Nadu power minister P Thangamani conveyed the request to the Centre while delivering a speech at a conference of discoms convened by Union Power Ministry in New Delhi earlier this week. “The total coal required for Tangedco’s power stations is approximately 72,000 tonnes a day, i.e. 20 rakes per day, while the total fuel supply agreement (FSA) quantity is 22.945 million tonnes per annum,” Thangamani said. Even as the power utility has been supported by the Union Coal Ministry, who raised the coal supply in the last four months, the supply has still not been enough to meet the required quantity of linkage coal, he said.

Allot at least 72,000 metric tonnes per day

“In a meeting held in Kolkata in December last, it was principally agreed by Coal India Ltd (CIL) to supply 6.425 million tonnes of coal between January and March. In this regard I request the Union power minister to recommend to Union ministry of coal to allot at least 72,000 metric tonnes or about 20 rakes per day to maintain sustained generation in Tangedco thermal units and also to build up coal stock of not less than 30 days as per the norms of the Central Electricity Authority,” the minister said.

Issues in evacuating coal from Chandrabila coal block

The minister also highlighted the issues faced by Tangedco in evacuating coal from the Chandrabila coal block in Odisha. “There are 896 million tonnes of coal reserves for Tangedco’s use over there. But there are critical issues faced in developing this block. There is a lack of area for dumping the overburden generated within the coal block and non-issuance of forest clearance for the exploration in forest area,” said the minister.

Clearance for exploration in Chandrabila’s forest area

Thangamani also asked the Union ministry of forests and environment to provide clearance for exploration in the forest area of Chandrabila coal block, or Tangedco may be forced to give up the block otherwise.