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Home News Power Sector News Singareni strike- NTPC further cuts generation from Ramagundam

Singareni strike- NTPC further cuts generation from Ramagundam

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NTPCThe general strike called by the Telangana Employees Joint Action Committee (JAC) demanding statehood to Telangana is all set to cripple the power generation and disrupt the demand-supply balance in the country.Generation at the 2,600-Mw NTPC's Ramagundam Thermal Power Station further declined to 1,400 Mw on 15-09-2011 due to disruption in coal supplies from Singareni coalfields, impacting power supply across the Southern grid to that extent. Severe power outage is anticipated across all southern states owing to stoppage of coal supply to thermal stations due to strike by miners of Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL)as part of the shutdown in Telangana demanding a separate state. The pit-head thermal station had yesterday reduced generation by 700 Mw as it has almost run out of coal stock. At other power plants run by APGenco, the coal stock is expected to last for one more week. APGenco too is regulating the generation to preserve coal stock even as efforts are on to get additional coal from outside the state.

To avoid further stoppage of generation at the NTPC station, Singareni has started sending a few rakes of coal after marginally resuming production from Manuguru and Sattupally opencast mines in Khammam district on 15-09-2011. "We have extracted about 6,300 tonnes of coal from the two mines in the first shift, of which 4,000 tonne has been sent to NTPC," a Singareni official told Business Standard.

However, this is just a drop in the ocean compared with the average production of 135,000 tonne coal a day at Singareni during normal times.

NTPC officials are planning to maintain the current generation of 1,400 Mw for the time being as it started replenishments at least marginally.

While Andhra gets 36 per cent of power produced from the Ramagundam station, the rest is shared by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry and Goa. The station is also receiving three rakes of coal from Western and Southeast coalfields as one of its units has linkages from outside the state.

APTransco managing director Ajai Jain said so far the state power utilities were imposing marginal load relief on domestic supply to the extent of 5 million units while meeting the overall demand of 240 mu per day. "We are also talking to Singareni, Mahanadi Coalfields and Coal India Limited for coal supplies to ensure power generation. In case the demand goes up, we always have an option of overdrawing from the central grid by paying higher price," he said.

Continuation of the strike at Singareni beyond a week or so will create a serious crisis in thermal power generation in the state as most of the plants in AP have linkages from this coalfield. Majority of the 65,000-strong workforce of Singareni has joined the general strike launched on Tuesday by the joint action committee of state government employees in support of their demand for separate Telangana.

A few power plants in Maharashtra and Karnataka, which have coal linkage from Singareni, have also stopped receiving coal supplies due to the ongoing strike.

Meanwhile, government teachers' associations in Telangana would also be joining the strike from September 18. Cinema theatres across the Telangana region remained closed for the second day on Thursday in response to a 48-hour bandh called by the political joint action committee. Private educational institutions in the region remained closed for the third day on Thursday.

With the ongoing strike getting serious by the day, Congress MLAs from Telangana, under pressure to resign in support of the cause, are planning to go to Delhi to press for their demand for separate statehood with the party high command. Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Thursday appealed to the striking employees to get back to work.

Source- Business standard


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