Power supply situation continued to remain grim in Punjab with the state-owned utility PSPCL on Sunday saying up to three-hour daily power cut will remain in the state till October 13.

Severe coal shortage has forced the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited to cut down power generation and impose load shedding.

Because of depleted coal stock, the coal-fired power plants are operating at less than 50 per cent of their generation capacity, said officials.

While the private power thermal plants have coal stock of up to 1.5 day and the state-owned units have coal for up to four days, said officials on Sunday.

PSPCL Chairman and Managing Director A Venuprasad said the power utility was facing acute coal shortage in all of the coal-based plants situated across the state.

Similar situation is prevailing in the neighbouring states of Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan as well as in other parts of India, he further said.

Venuprasad said the PSPCL is procuring power even at exorbitant rates from the market to cater to the demand from consumers including the agriculture sector.

The PSPCL met maximum demand of 8,788 MW of Punjab on Saturday, he said, adding that about 1,800 MW of power was procured for meeting requirement for Sunday at a rate of Rs 11.60 per unit from the power exchange.

In spite of such procurement of power, the PSPCL is going for load shedding across the state on all categories of consumers in order to bridge the gap between demand and supply, said Venuprasad. Power cut duration of about 2 to 3 hours every day will be imposed till Wednesday, he said.

The CMD said presently, all the private coal-based plants in the state have 1.5 day coal stock while the state-owned plants have about four days of coal stock.

“Yesterday 11 coal rakes were received against the total requirement of 22 rakes. Because of depleted coal stock, these plants are operating at less than 50 per cent of their generation capacity,” he said in a statement.

The demand for power from the agriculture sector is still there, he said.

He, however, said after the intervention of Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, loading of coal rakes has improved.

With the fall in demand and arrival of sufficient quantum of coal for building up the coal stock, the situation shall ease from October 15, he said.

Venuprasad appealed to consumers to use power judiciously.


Source: 11 October, 2021, The Tribune