The Telegraph
Saturday , January 25 , 2014

Coal supply boost to plant

The 2,340MW National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) plant at Kahalgaon received a record coal supply of 70,914 metric tonnes on Thursday. It usually faces acute coal shortage.

The plant had earlier received the highest coal supply of 32,000 metric tonnes on a single day on June 27, 2013. The plant, however, requires supply of 33,000 to 37,000 metric tonnes a day to run all its seven units (500MWx3units and 210MWx4 units).

Bihar has a share of 40.20 per cent in Stage I (210MWx4) and 6.58 per cent share in Stage II (500MWx3). In all, the state has a share of 435MW in 2,340MW of the plant.

T. Gopal Krishna, additional general manager (fuel management), NTPC, Kahalgaon said over the phone: “Thursday’s coal supply from outside — two rakes of imported coal from Haldia and Paradip ports — to the plant created a record. We have to face coal crisis often owing to many reasons. But the supply system has been gradually improving and we hope if such flow of coal continues, we would have the opportunity to generate power smoothly.”

The allocation to the state is linked to the generation, which implies that if the plant generates 2,340MW, it would get around 435MW as its share from the plant and if the generation plummets to 1,170MW, the state would get just half of its share, 217.5MW.

The record supply of coal to the plant, where the overall generation fluctuates frequently owing to coal supply shortage, would not only enable it to run all its seven units at 100 per cent plant load factor (PLF, a measure of the average capacity utilisation) but would also supply the state its full quota of 435MW for a longer period of time.

If the PLF is affected by non-availability of fuel, maintenance shutdown or unplanned breakdown, the generation has to be adjusted. Sources said, normally, no plant is run at 100 per cent PLF in the country for a long period of time, adding that even the best performing plant runs maximum at 80 to 90 per cent PLF.

The management has to reduce the PLF below 50 per cent during times of inadequate coal stock at the plant or poor or low quality of supply of coal owing to strike or breakdown, which, in turn, affects the state’s share in the plant.

Asked about the reason for getting record coal supply, sources from Lalmatiya coal pits of Rajmahal Coalfields Limited said the mine had record production from mid-January and since the supply line and other formalities related to despatching coal to NTPC, Kahalgaon, was normal, so coal has been supplied smoothly to Kahalgaon.

The state, getting 2,300MW of power supply over the past few months, received around 1,650MW on Friday afternoon, including 150MW from Adani Power and 110MW from Muzaffarpur Thermal Power Station, said a power company official.