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Home News Power Sector News Coal and Power ministries in tug-of-war - Power development suffers

Coal and Power ministries in tug-of-war - Power development suffers

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SimhadriEven as 56 state-run power plants grapple with critical coal-stock position, the coal and power ministries are locked in a tug-of-war on long-term supply of the fuel through Letter of Assurance (LoAs) on priority basis for the 11th Plan thermal power projects. It seems that the Coal Ministry has torpedoed the Power Ministry’s plan of ensuring generation of 24,159 MW and has instead made it clear that it would only consider issuance of LoAs for projects envisaged to generate 7500 MW electricity by 2012.

In a recent meeting between top brass of coal and power ministries, the former ruled out issuing LoAs for supply to projects envisaging a aggregate generation capacity of 24,159 MW as suggested by Power Ministry and instead made it clear that a total capacity of about 7,500 MW could only be considered for LoA on priority during the 11th Plan having Commercial Operation Date (COD) before January 2012.

The Power Ministry too on its part cited its inability to furnish out any such list on LoAs for 7,500 MW. The ministry mandarins instead pointed out that one unit of the recommended projects be considered as it would facilitate their financial closure.

Countering this contention, coal ministry brass maintained that as agreed upon the priority is to identify projects and provide them linkages to the limit for 7,500 MW. They argued that while on the one hand the Power Ministry was recommending giving LoAs for the remaining units of promoters who have already been given LoA only for part capacity in the past, this was tantamount to their taking a different stand and hence may not be appropriate to consider.

Meanwhile, 56 central and state-run power utilities continue to reel under acute coal shortage and face critical coal-stock position. In August state-run power giant National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) had warned that acute paucity of coal threatened functioning of its thermal power plants and had appealed to coal companies to augment their supply to ensure their uninterrupted functioning.

Courtsey- Indian Express


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