CIL refutes Nabha Power allegation of coal shortage
Coal India today 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.
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. 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.
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.