Millennium Post

CIL refutes Nabha Power allegation of coal shortage

Kolkata: Coal India on Saturday refuted Nabha Power Ltd's claim that it was unable to supply enough coal to a 700 MW plant in Punjab, forcing its recent shutdown.

The L&T group company had closed the unit in Rajpura on June 3, saying it was forced to take the decision due to shortage of coal.

But a Coal India Ltd (CIL) official blamed the crisis on Nabha Power itself, saying it had delayed the booking and lifting of coal allotted to it for the peak summer and paddy sowing seasons.

He said Nabha Power should rush the allotted coal to its plant, instead of blaming Coal India for the fuel shortage.

The official said the coal supply for the Rajpura plant is linked to the South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL). Due to logistical problems, it normally supplies about 75 per cent of the contracted quantity.

But it is a regular practice to meet the unit's demand during the peak season from other CIL subsidiaries, he said.

During this financial year, the CIL had allotted 3.64 lakh tonnes of coal for Nabha Power from April 18 to June 18 to two other subsidiaries, the CCL and the BCCL.

But out of this allocation, Nabha Power has so far booked only 1.54 lakh tonnes. Due to this delay , the lifting of coal from there is a mere 0.25 lakh tonnes, he said.

Nabha Power recently said the shutdowns at its units were caused primarily because of Coal India restricting supplies to 75 per cent of the contracted commitments and giving preference to government power generation companies.

Nabha Power had sought removal of the 75 per cent restriction , and demanded allocation of more railway rakes to ensure smooth supply of coal to its plants.

The CIL official, however, claimed Coal India and the Railways attached priority to transporting coal to power stations in Punjab, particularly those run by Nabha Power.

On Friday, 27 rakes of coal were in transit for the Nabha Power plant, he said.

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