Energy Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy on Thursday said the government was importing 31 lakh tonnes of coal as per the Coal Ministry’s norm that the States should procure at least 10% of their requirement from overseas.
The Ministries of Power, Coal and Railways had set the norm after the coal crisis began crippling generation at the thermal power plants in October 2021, to supplement the stocks available domestically.
Accordingly, the process of importing coal had been set in motion, he said at a review meeting at the Secretariat on Thursday, while observing that coal shortage was not limited to Andhra Pradesh alone.
The Minister said the thermal power plants were having coal stocks sufficient for just two to three days against the stipulated 21 days, as Coal India Limited (CIL) was unable to meet the demand. The States were thus forced to import coal from foreign countries.
Nevertheless, there would be no problem in meeting the demand for power till the end of September, after which it was expected to rise due to a spurt in agricultural activity in the kharif season and other sections.
The power utilities should take necessary measures, including getting the new unit at Sri Damodaram Sanjeevaiah Thermal Power Plant commissioned at the earliest, to improve the situation in the coming months, he added.
Energy Secretary B. Sreedhar, Transco Joint Managing Director I. Prudhvi Tej and Director (grid transmission and management) K. Muthupandian and DISCOMs’ CMDs H. Haranatha Rao, J. Padma Janardhan Reddy and K. Santosh Rao were present.