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Electricity consumers will have to pay extra for forced use of imported coal in thermal plants – AIPEF

Electricity consumers will have to pay extra for forced use of imported coal in thermal plants – AIPEF

Bahadurjeet Singh /Rupnagar

The electricity consumers in the country would share the burden of costly power due to the blending of imported coal with Indian coal as per the dictates of the Power  Ministry.

All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) spokesperson V K Gupta said that the use of imported coal would increase the electricity tariff by 70 paise to one rupee per unit for the financial year 2022-23. This increase will be passed on to the consumer in the form of a quarterly fuel surcharge adjustment.

The total additional cost burden on the states on account of imported coal  would be in excess of Rs 24,000 crores.

Gupta said that in the case of Haryana, the consumers may face a  fuel surcharge adjustment of  90 paise per unit. Haryana has ordered  9  lakh metric tonnes (MT) of imported coal. Punjab has ordered 1.5 lakh MT Indonesian coal and has asked Coal India to import a balance coal quantity.

Electricity consumers will have to pay extra for forced use of imported coal in thermal plants - AIPEF
VK Gupta

He said that the NDA government has failed to anticipate electricity and coal demand after the covid pandemic, which has thrown the country into an unprecedented coal crisis. This is the second time in the last nine months the coal crisis has occurred and this may again happen during the monsoon.

He said that in the backdrop of high power demand  and insufficient coal supply, the Ministry of Power has unilaterally directed states to import coal without caring to take into account the technical implications of using imported coal in power plants. Most power plants do not have the necessary facilities for the proper blending of coal and this could damage the boiler.

He said that The centre has allowed the private generators using imported coal to pass on the full coal import cost to the state utilities in deviation from the terms of the  existing power purchase agreements.  Earlier, the NDA government did not allow states to renegotiate the PPAs. now it has revised tariffs upward to suit the interests of the private generators.( IPPs.)

Electricity consumers will have to pay extra for forced use of imported coal in thermal plants – AIPEF. Gupta further said that besides the failure of railway,  coal, and power ministries to coordinate there is another culprit for coal shortage, the failure of private developers to develop the allocated coal mines in time. This clearly shows how the privatization policy of the present govt has disastrously failed.

Further as per the national power policy imported coal was envisaged only at coastal locations and not for thermal stations away from coastal locations which are now forced to import coal,Gupta..

June 8,2022

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