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APgenco to import coal?

Moving a step closer towards 24×7 power supply in Andhra Pradesh, the state government has permitted the AP power generation corporation (APgenco) to import 3.6 million tonnes of coal from other countries. The move is aimed at ensuring uninterrupted coal supply to all thermal stations and maintenance of sufficient stocks for major expansion projects.

Earlier, the government had given permission to import 1.5 million tonnes of coal, but after Krishnapatnam thermal power station, with a capacity of 800 MW, was commissioned two months ago, APgenco requested to step up the import quota.

Thermal stations in Andhra Pradesh mostly depend on Mahanadi coal fields and Singareni Collieries for their daily needs. But of late, supplies from both these coal companies have become insufficient to meet the increasing demand.
“Newly-commissioned Krishnapatnam station alone requires about 1.5 million tonnes coal per year. The project has been completed in record time and we are adding another 800 MW to the AP grid,” AP Transco chairman and managing director, K Vijayanand, told TOI.

After getting permission from the state government, APgenco has handed over the responsibility of importing coal to MMTC and MSTC, both public sector trading corporations so as to not allow private players to manipulate the price to their advantage.

Apart from Krishnapatnam expansion, the APgenco is also going ahead with capacity addition at Vijayawada thermal power station (VTPS) and Rayalaseema thermal power station (RTPS). To ensure sufficient coal supply to these units, it was decided to depend on the imported coal as the Mahanadi Coal Fields Company is not able to fulfill its commitment to the state. “At present we are receiving only 50 to 60 per cent of what was agreed by the company,” sources said.

Focus on renewable sources too

To ensure success of the uninterrupted power supply scheme, the state government has also prepared a strategy to augment power generation through renewable sources. “Union power minister Piyush Goyal has agreed to set up a 1,000 MW solar power park in AP and we are waiting for the confirmation to enter into an agreement with the Centre. Several solar and wind energy power project developers have evinced interest to set up their units in AP,” AP energy secretary Ajay Jain told TOI. The government will also enter into an agreement with the Centre in a couple of days to see that funds available under ‘Power for All” are allotted to the state as per the requirement.

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