AIPEF seeks CAG audit after thermal power stations allowed blending of imported coal by centre

, Oct 28 : All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) on Thursday demanded CAG Audit & Energy Audit for IPP’s in view of the recent Ministry of Power order to thermal plants allowing them to blend imported coal up to 15 per cent during the continuing coal crisis, it was reported on Thursday.

AIPEF Chairman Shailendra Dubey has sent a letter to Union Power Minister R K Singh in this respect expressing concern on the hike in electricity cost due to blending of imported coal.

The Union ministry of power has advised all the coal-based thermal generating stations to maintain adequate coal stocks according to their obligations. In the case of domestic coal shortage, the generators can blend the imported coal up to 15 per cent with domestic coal, wherever technically feasible, to meet the increased power demand in the country.

AIPEF letter in a sent on Thursday, said it is well known that due to global increase of coal prices, the cost of imported coal has increased.

The data of coal price parameters with respect to coal import from Indonesia and from South Africa shows that the landed cost of South African Coal is ₨ 22,205 per tonne with coal of calorific value 5500. In case of Indonesian coal the landed price is ₨ 21,720 per tonne, with calorific value 5000. While for a load centre thermal station the landed cost of Indian coal is ₨ 5150 per tonne with GCV 4000.

Mr Dubey said that the cost of coal to generate per unit of electricity with indigenous coal is Rs 03.22 while with 15 per cent blending of imported coal, the cost will come out to be Rs 04.37 per unit. Import of coal at Rs 21000 /tonne or ₨ 22,000/tonne is not justified as cost is prohibitive and energy cost escalate by about ₨ 01.15 per unit. State Discoms which are already in crisis / financial difficulty can not afford this price increase.

He said the blending of imported coal up to 15 per cent by private generators will increase the cost of supply.

He further added, “Moreover, the private generators are not covered under the CAG audit. It may be mentioned that the investigations of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) regarding forged documents of imported coal by IPPs and particularly by Adani, are pending decisions in the Supreme Court. Further, there are two aggravating factors.

AIPEF says the extreme crisis of coal shortage during 2021 must not be allowed to repeat in future, and CIL must take steps to increase coal production to ensure that the crisis does not repeat next /subsequent year.

IPPs which have contracts of 25 years at fixed rates for each year must be directed to ensure supply to procurers as per their share and as per the bid rate contained in PPA. Since the Supreme Court has disallowed the pass through of coal increases the PPA bid rate must be followed / Implemented.

As per Tariff Policy 2016 the thermal power stations are required to be ready to dispatch at all times to meet power demand of the grid. This provision of policy must be applied and implemented on priority to CGPL Mundra (Tata) and to Kawai (Adani) thermal stations which have closed/backed down their power stations during the crisis. The Ministry of Power must direct CGPL Mundra to arrange more fuel to increase PLF of CGPL UMPP Mundra from 20% to nearly 100%.

The Government of India / Ministry of Power must draw up an action plan so that renewable capacity addition from solar, wind sources is ramped up so that the crisis of 2021 (thermal coal shortage) can be mitigated to that extent.


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