VIJAYAWADA: With clear indications that the coal crisis is going to stay for around two years and at the same time, the power demand is set to rise further, the Ministry of Power has informed the States that the Coal India Limited may not be able to cater to the fuel needs of thermal stations fully. Hence, the States have been asked to import 10% of their annual coal requirement.
In view of this, APGENCO and the AP Power Development Corporation Limited (APPDCL) have initiated procurement of imported coal to the tune of 18 lakh tonnes and 13 lakh tonnes respectively to augment coal supplies to thermal plants.The government and power utilities are also devising plans to meet the power requirement of the State on a long-term basis apart from temporary measures being taken to overcome the present power shortage.
Reviewing power supply position through a teleconference with AP power utilities, Energy Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy said Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy directed the Energy Department to make all-out efforts to strengthen the power sector, which is essential for economic development and protect the interests of consumers of State for which both short-term and long- term plans are required.
The objective of the government is to provide sustainable power on a long-term basis by ensuring 24×7 supply of quality power to various categories and 9 hour daytime power supply to the farm sector.Peddireddy said the prevailing power shortage is only a temporary phenomenon and exuded confidence to overcome the situation very soon.
“The Chief Minister is also reviewing power supply position in the State regularly and giving proper directions to the power utilities. Though the entire country is facing severe coal shortage for power generation and AP is no exception, the Chief Minister has specifically emphasised the need to take all possible steps to continue to provide 24×7 power supply to industries and lift restrictions on use of power by industries at the earliest,” the Energy Minister added.
Energy Secretary B Sreedhar said that Energy Department has been coordinating with the Union Ministry of Coal, Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Power for coal transportation to Andhra Pradesh.Explaining the progress of pumped storage hydro projects, officials informed the Energy Minister that the Phase-1 Feasibility Reports (FRs) have been submitted to seven directorates of the Union government, including Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Central Water Commission (CWC), Geological Survey of India (GSI) and Central Soil and Materials Research Station (CSMRS).
The Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) survey has been completed for Gandikota, Kurukutti and Karrivalasa locations and application for diversion of forest land will be filed before May 15. The Geo-Technical Investigations are in progress at Chitravati, Gandikota, Somasila, Kurukutti and Karrivalasa. Under the Phase-2, the preparation of Feasibility Reports are in progress.
They further said the Techno-Commercial Feasibility Reports for 29 locations have been prepared and the potential has been estimated at 33,240 MW. In the first phase, projects at seven locations with an estimated potential of 6,600 MW will be taken up and the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) are under preparation. Out of seven locations, four are On-River (Reservoir based) projects and three are Off-River Projects, they explained.