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Andhra CM seeks PM's intervention to avert energy crisis
Amaravati, Oct 9 - Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's urgent intervention in view of the alarming situation in the state due to unfolding energy crisis.
Voicing his concern over the coal shortage and poor finances of power distribution companies, he urged the PM to initiate remedial measures and monitor the power generation scenario on daily basis.
In a letter to Narendra Modi, the chief minister said it has become increasingly difficult for the state to meet the energy demand and the situation was pushing it towards load shedding.
He stated that given the state's precarious financial situation, it was not able to purchase required power from the open market as the purchase prices have also shot up with growing demand.
Jagan Mohan Reddy urged Modi to direct the Coal Ministry and the Railways to allot 20 coal rakes to thermal power stations in Andhra Pradesh.
He also sought revival of stranded and non-working pit head coal plants on an emergency basis regardless of the ongoing proceedings before the National Companies Law Tribunal. This will save the coal transport time and quantity limitations in coal transportation to non-pit head coal plants.
Deep-water well gas available with ONGC and Reliance could be supplied on an emergency basis to the 2,300 MW stranded/non-working gas plants in the state, he said.
"The deficit of nearly 500 MW from central generating stations due to plant maintenance can be bridged by reviving the plants at the earliest or the maintenance be postponed," the chief minister wrote.
He also urged PM Modi to direct banks/lending institutions to provide working capital loans liberally to distribution companies till the crisis is tided over in order to make coal payments and undertake market purchases.
Jagan Mohan Reddy pointed out that post-Covid power demand in Andhra Pradesh increased by 15 per cent in the last six months and by 20 per cent in the last one month. This coupled with coal shortage is pushing the energy sector into turmoil, he said.
Andhra Pradesh is currently meeting power demand of about 185-190 million units per day. Thermal power generating stations of APGENCO, which meet 45 per cent of the state's energy needs, hardly have coal stocks for one or two days. APGENCO plants were operating at less than 50 per cent of their 90 million units per day capacity.
"The central generating stations have also not been able to supply more than 75 per cent of their 40 MU per day capacity. In order to absorb energy from the 8,000 MW of renewable energy capacity, the Andhra Pradesh state has not been executing contracts with coal-based plants and consequently, it depends heavily on market purchases for sourcing its shortfall energy."
The chief minister pointed out that the daily average market price of power in the open market increased from Rs 4.6 per kWh on September 15 to Rs 15 per kWh on October 8.
"The rates in day-ahead and real-time power markets are soaring by the day and have reached a peak of Rs 20 per unit at most time. Power is also not available at certain hours due to less generation in the country," he said.
"It is quite an alarming situation and finances of power distribution companies would deteriorate further if the situation persists," he added.
He also pointed out that more water is required in the current last stage of harvesting. If power supply is denied, fields would dry up.
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