NALCO power plant in deep crisis

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Angul, Jun 19: With only three days coal stock in its disposal, the captive power plant of the National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) has slipped into super critical stage.

The coal stock situation has further worsened in last two days particularly following the strike by contractual drivers engaged in Talcher Coalfield of MCL which paralysed total coal production and dispatch resulting in the stoppage of coal from MCL mines.

NALCO authorities have decided to shut down another 120 MW unit on Thursday last due to want of coal as there has been no coal supply from Talcher Coalfield for third consecutive day yesterday.The power plant consumes 14000 tone of coal per day and presently it has only a stock of 45000 tonne which would be exhausted in next three days, Plant's executive director A K Sharma said.

The situation, he said, was slowly taking serious turn as there has been no supply of coal during the crisis time from feeding Talcher Coalfield due to indefinite strike launched by contractual drivers demanding fulfillment of their 17 point of demands.

NALCO authorities feared that any further down of their power generation might hit the smelter plant here beyond repair. The sensitive smelter plant needs uninterrupted 620 MW of power round the clock for the operation and stabilisation.

Any disruption or irregularity in power supply would lead to serious technical disaster to the company.Unlike other plants the NALCO smelter plant once shut down would take months time to revive, a senior official said.

Meanwhile, the Mahanadi Coal Field Limited(MCL) top brass including Chairman-cum-Director S.R.Upadyaya and the MCL contractors were engaged in series of discussions to sort out the crisis borne out of drivers strike.

The proposal mooted by MCL to send coal under police protection could not be implemented yesterday due to apathy by police authorities.

Reports reaching here said NTPC-Kaniha plant in Orissa and Simadhri power plant at Visakhapatnam besides other power stations in South India were also facing coal shortage with only four to five days stock at their disposal.

NALCO in the past had also cut down generation from its own plant and started importing power to save the power and smelter plant.

The power generation in captive power plant of NALCO, meanwhile, has slashed to about an average of 610 MW against the demand of 620 MW to run 715 pots of the smelter plant.

NALCO was forced to import 70 MW power from state run Grid Corporation of Orissa from June 16 last and asked the GRIDCO for 100 MW.

MCL authorities at Talcher Coal Field blamed lack of rakes and some problems in its conveyer belt for less supply.However,NALCO has apprised the Angul district collector about the crisis situation and asked him to intervene into the matter During 2007 NALCO had faced similar type of coal shortage forcing the authorities to shut down two of its six running units.


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