Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation(Tangedco)
is set to resume coalimports,
with the first shipment expected on October 10, as domestic coal supply has not improved in the last few weeks. While the discom was
planning to import coal only from October-end, the unrelenting power demand and
supply constraints of domestic coal have forced it to start importing earlier,
said Tangedco chairman Vikram Kapur.
Instead of 16 rakes, the Centre provides only 11 rakes
resulting in no improvement in the buffer stock.
The discom was importing coal from last December but it was
stopped during wind power season. Wind
power generation has almost stopped and Tangedco is totally dependent on
purchasing power private sources. And now the import of coal will negatively
impact its financials since the international crude price has increased and the
rupee slide against the US dollar continues.
The coal import, however, has to restart. The situation also
adds to the challenge with the power demand not coming down even in September
but rather it has gone up. The average demand is around 14,500MW compared to
last year when the demand was only 12,500MW..
In the first phase, 1.5 lakh tonnes of coal will
arrive at the Ennore port, which will be used by North Chennai and Mettur units. Six
lakh tonnes of coal will be imported through Tuticorin for the Tuticorin
“We were previously importing at $73 per tonne
and we are trying to procure it at the same cost. But as we have to pay in
dollar terms and with the depreciation of rupee against the dollar, we are
expecting the cost of coal to increase. Along with this Tangedco has
implemented the pay commission wages for its employees and together all these
will hit our financials,” said Kapur.