Tangedco to Import Thermal Coal for Power Plants
The Federal reported that there are not less than 5000MW of thermal projects which are in pipeline and unless more coal blocks are allocated to Tamil Nadu, the dependence from import coal will increase Handling of coal has been a sticky point for Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation, (even with its lower thermal capacity. The coal allocated to TANGEDCO by the Union Coal Ministry is not enough and it is forced to import coal, mostly from Indonesia. The thermal units in Mettur and North Chennai blend the local and imported coal to generate power.
Tangedco’s total demand for coal for a thermal capacity of 4320MW is 26 million tonnes of coal. “It requires 26 million tonnes of coal for full capacity generation of North Chennai, Mettur, Ennore and Tuticorin thermal units. Of this, 20.445 million tonnes of coal are met by indigenous stock and the balance 5.50 million tonnes is being imported,” said a Tangedco coal wing official.
Tangedco started importing coal regularly from 2004-05. The imports started at 1 million tonnes but as the demand for power increased and more thermal units were commissioned, the amount of coal imported also increased. In 2016, Coal India Limited requested Tamil Nadu government to advise Tangedco to stop imports and use indigenous coal available with CIL. But the very next year, the Centre asked the distribution companies to import coal due to its shortage as the demand for coal increased across the country. Thus, Tangedco has been depending on imported coal to meet its demand for its thermal units.