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Govt Reviews Power Situation For Upcoming Summer Months

An additional capacity of 2920 MW would be available through new coal-based plants which would be commissioned by the end of this month

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The Union Power Ministry has devised a multi-pronged strategy with officials from the power sector, and the ministry of coal and railways to ensure adequate availability of power for the upcoming summer months. In a review meeting, chaired by Union Minister for Power R K Singh, a detailed discussion took place on various aspects to meet the high electricity demand in the upcoming months especially during April and May, according to a statement by the ministry of power on Thursday. During the meeting, the Union power minister asked power companies to ensure that there is no load-shedding during the summer months.

As part of the strategy, the power utilities have been told to undertake maintenance for coal-based power plants well in advance so that no planned maintenance is required during the crunch period, during the meeting, which took place on Tuesday. Directions have already been issued under Section-11 to all imported coal-based plants to run at full capacity from 16 March.

Adequate coal stocks would be made available at the coal-based power plants. During the meeting, the member railway board assured the availability of enough rakes for the transport of coal.

The Ministry of Railways agreed to provide 418 rakes to different subsidiaries of Coal Indian (CIL) and captive blocks, and also enhance the number of rakes in due course so that sufficient coal stock can be maintained at power plants.

Gas-based power would be used to meet any peak demand, the ministry said. The Ministry has directed NTPC to run its 5000 MW gas-based power stations during the crunch period in Apr-May. In addition, 4000 MW of additional gas-based power capacity would be added by other entities for availability during the summer months.

GAIL has already assured the ministry of power of the necessary supply of gas during the summer months. All the hydro plants have been instructed to operate in consultation with RLDCs/ SLDCs (regional/state load dispatch centres) to optimise water utilisation in the current month for better availability during the next month, according to the statement.

An additional capacity of 2920 MW would be available through new coal-based plants which would be commissioned by the end of this month. In addition, after direction from the ministry, two units at Bihar's 

Barauni (2X110MW) will be made available during the crunch period. According to the statement, Singh asked all stakeholders to closely monitor the situation and take proactive actions to meet the electricity demand during the coming months.

As per estimates of the Central Electricity Authority, the peak electricity demand is expected to reach 229GW. The demand then tapers off as monsoon season picks up from the southern part of the country and covers the whole country over the next 3-4 months. (ANI)

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