NTPC Ltd has started exploring alternative energy sources to counter a coal crisis.
NTPC executive director, fuel transmission, Arya Srikanth, who arrived at the Kahalgaon plant on Wednesday, told reporters they are exploring the possibility of tapping 37 per cent of coal still under the earth. “Since the coal stock is limited, we’ve to arrange for alternatives,” he said.
NTPC is also thinking of establishing thermal projects in coastal areas, mainly to have easy access to coal from abroad. Earlier, P.K. Mohapatra, general manager (in-charge), NTPC’s Kahalgaon unit, admitted the unit, having production capacity of 2,340MW, had suffered on many occasions because of disruption in coal supply.
“At present we don’t have any coal-related problems but we have faced problems related to coal transport on many occasions,” he said.
But there would be more coal next year as land acquisition at Hurra-C, an extension of Rajmahal Coalfields Limited of Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) in Jharkhand’s Godda district, is almost complete. NTPC would be in a position to lift coal from the coal pit by March 2014 .
ECL has already acquired 38 acres there while the process of acquiring another 16 acres for its proposed merry-go-round rail line to transport coal from the coal pit to the Kahalgaon project is almost complete. “Some technical aspects remain incomplete and we have to go to the deputy commissioner, Godda, almost every week to be able to start the work soon,” Mohapatra said.
Another extension of the Rajmahal project, Simlong, is almost ready to supply coal. “We expected 15 rakes of coal every day but it would be dumped at Bounsi Barahat in Banka district from where it would have to be ferried to Kahalgaon, by train,” he said.
The project can start by 2014 after all formalities are completed.