The authorities of NTPC’s Kahalgaon unit are concerned over the shortage in coal supply affecting generation at the mega thermal project.
“Operation at the two units of the project, each having a production capacity of 500MW, can start only if there is an improvement in the coal supply,” Subashish Ghosh, general manager, NTPC Ltd, Kahalgaon, said.
He added that there was a need to arrive at a concrete solution to bring coal from Jharkhand without complications. Ghosh, however, claimed that despite the shortage in coal supply, the Kahalgaon project has managed to generate power more than its target in the last financial year. “This fiscal, we have fixed the target at 82 per cent. This is an increase of 9 per cent from that of the last financial year,” he added.
Having a capacity of 2,340MW from four units (4x 210MW) of Stage I and three units (3x500MW) of Stage II, the Kahalgaon unit of NTPC has distributed 36 per cent of its total production from Stage I and 6.36 per cent from Stage II to the state.
“At present, NTPC Ltd has the capacity to produce 39,174MW. The target is to increase it to 1.28 lakh MW by 2032. However, many thermal projects are facing difficulties because of the coal crisis,” Ghosh said.
Explaining the problems of the Kahalgaon unit, he said the coal that was earlier supplied to the plant from Rajmahal coalfields, an ECL undertaking in Godda of neighbouring Jharkhand, to the Kahalgaon unit was of grade “G”category. “This quality does not help us enhancing generation. A few years ago, we used to get grade “A” and “B” coal from the Rajmahal coalfields. The unit has to depend on Grade “C” amd “D” quality coal from Raniganj, besides the imported coal. Timely availability of coal from Raniganj or the imported coal helped us maintain production,” he added.
According to Ghosh, the extension of Rajmahal coalfield project to the two new coal blocks in Hurra “C” (Godda) and Supervita (Sahebganj) would not only help the NTPC’s Kahalgaon unit but also the Farakka project.
“The two proposed coal blocks for NTPC have been delayed mainly because of some technical problems like land acquisition and getting the no- objection certificate from the forest department in Jharkhand. We have adequate space in Kahalgaon to start two more units, apart from the existing seven. The two units would be capable of generating 1,000MW of power. However, the local problems have to be solved before we can do that,” he said.
Ghosh added that the NTPC’s Kahalgaon unit has almost completed the formalities for land acquisition in Godda for its tracks on which coal would be supplied from the two new pits.
“We have initiated the compensation payment process to the residents who have parted with their land for the project. We have also stepped up our charity work for the villagers as part of our corporate social responsibility policy,” he said.