Thus, owing to both private and government-owned companies like NLC, Coal India and Adani, Talabira, Talcher and other mines in Odisha are now being used to their full potential for tackling the acute coal shortage faced by various power plants.
Amid the surge in power demand coupled with a decline in fuel imports, Odisha is continuing to play a crucial role in fulfilling the immediate power needs.
Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) has commenced coal supply from Talabira mine II and III to NTPC’s power plant in Darlipalli, Odisha. It will soon be dispatching coal to the Lara plant as well.
Developed and operated by the Adani Talabira mine is expected to produce up to 10 MTPA coal in the current year and almost 20 MTPA from next year onwards. All these measures assume significance in the wake of several power plants in India tackling with coal shortages.
Meanwhile, Coal India too is making concerted efforts to ramp up coal production. Around 91 per cent of coal produced by the corporation are being transported to various thermal power plants across the country. Of all of its mining subsidiaries, Mahanadi Coalfields Limited in Odisha is supplying the most with around 96 rakes of coal per day.
In total, Coal India supplies around a whopping 289 rakes of coal per day; each rake amounts to 59 wagons of coal. Similarly, NLC has upped its target of Talabira mine’s coal production not just once, but twice this year amid the increased demand. Owned by NLC India’s subsidiary, Talabira (Odisha) Mining Pvt Ltd and developed by Adani, Talabira mine is said to have a total mineable reserve of about 554 MT. The extracted coal is transported to NLC’s Darlipalli plant, as well as one of its end user plants in Tamil Nadu, which cater to the power requirement of many Southern States.
Thus, owing to both private and government-owned companies like NLC, Coal India and Adani Talabira, Talcher and other mines in Odisha are now being used to their full potential for tackling the acute coal shortage faced by various power plants. In fact, strengthening the coal sector, the state produced the second-highest tonnes of coal during the financial year 2020-21. Besides Adani in Talabira, Vedanta, which owns Radhikapur west coal block is also one of the private players that can be credited for the increased production of coal by Odisha.
While non-renewable fuels like coal are being disdained in general, current circumstances have necessitated their use especially when coal accounts for more than 70 per cent of India’s power generation. Additionally, more than 17,000 MW of power plants are based on imported coal.
With the price of imported fuel skyrocketing, those plants have gone out of play. According to a data released by power ministry, at least 10 non-pithead thermal plants have stocks left for only 7 days at the most. Hopefully, the immediate measures undertaken by those companies will help in taking the strain off of the power plants.
At the same time, the government has also been tapping the renewable resources. It has asked states to lift their hydropower output as well and underscored the need to build strategic reserves of imported coal and gas.