New Delhi: Severe coal shortage at thermal power plants in Punjab has forced power utility PSPCL to cut down power generation and impose rotational load shedding at several places in the state.
Coal-fired power plants are running at a reduced capacity because of the shortage of coal, said an official of Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) on Saturday.
With the power situation turning grim, power plants in the state are left with coal stock of up to five days, a PSPCL official said.
"Plants are running at a reduced capacity," said the official adding that they were not being run at full capacity to conserve coal.
The demand for power at present is about 9,000 megawatts (MW) in the state.
Officials said besides the demand for power from the agriculture sector, high temperatures in the day is also adding to the power requirements in the state.
Though the PSPCL officials claimed minimal load shedding, there were reports of power cuts in the range of two-three hours at many places in the state.
Three private sector power plants are having a coal supply of up to two days, while the state-owned Ropar thermal plant and Lehra Mohabbat thermal plant are left with coal stock of up to four and five days respectively, said the official.
According to the Central Electricity Authority guidelines, power plants located at a distance of over 1,000 km from a coal mine should always have minimum coal stock of up to 30 days but this level of stock is not maintained by the power plants in the state.
On Friday, power plants had received some coal supply to run their operations, said the official.
In the wake of less generation of power, the PSPCL is buying power through the power exchange but it is costing over Rs 10 per unit which is quite expensive, said the official.
PSPCL Chairman and Managing Director A Venuprasad said he has written to the Centre for increasing the coal supply to the state. Also Read: DARK days ahead for India? Accute coal shortage can lead to massive power cuts - in pics
Officials claimed that the situation is expected to ease in the next couple of days. Also Read: MAJOR coal crisis! 14 power plants temporarily shut in Uttar Pradesh, 8 due to lack of fuel