Coal import restrictions causing Punjab power plant breakdown, says Vedanta

Restrictions on coal import imposed by the Centre has been cited by Vedanta as one of the major reasons for the frequent breakdown of its 1,980 mega-watt (MW) Talwandi Sabo power plant in Punjab.

The Talwandi Sabo plant is the largest source of power in Punjab, and after two of its units totaling 1,320 MW broke down, the state government has imposed restrictions of the state’s industrial consumers, permitting them to draw only 50% of power capacity allocated to them between July 8 and July 18.

“One of the major reasons for such frequent breakdown is owing to import coal restrictions and to the challenge in getting import substitute coal from Indian coal mines,” Talwandi Sabo Power, the Vedanta subsidiary which runs the plant, said on Saturday.

This has led to dependence on usage of domestic coal which has high ash content, which “results in frequent unit breakdowns,” the statement by the company noted, adding that “restoration of one of these is expected within 48 hours, while the other one might take a little longer”.

As FE reported earlier, the Union power ministry, in a letter to power producers written in April, 2020, had asked thermal power plants to reduce coal imports and requested power plants which blend high quality imported coal with domestic fuel to “make best efforts to replace their imports with domestic coal”.

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