Gujarat’s production of electricity from the coal-fired thermal power plants halved in October as private sector plants struggled to generate power due to spiralling prices of imported coal.
State’s thermal coal-based electricity generation declined by 56% to 3,465GWh (gigawatt hours) in October 2021 from 7,87,877GWh during the same month last year, shows the Central Electricity Authority (CEA)’s tentative monthly report for October.
Steep reduction in power generation by private sector plants, including those run on imported coal, brought down the overall electricity generated from the coal-based power plants in October.
Private sector’s generation from coal plunged 70% to 1,858GW from 6,142GWh. The generation stood at only 32% of the targeted generation of 5,839GWh for October 2021, according to the report.
“Spiralling prices of imported coal primarily affected the production at the private sector power plants,” said K K Baj a city-based energy and regulatory expert. Imported coal-based plants in the state stopped production as the generation had turned unviable due to the high prices of imported coal.
“On the other hand, the shortage of domestic coal impacted the production at the state-run power plants,” added Bajaj. The generation by state-run coal-based power projects eased 8% to 1,607GWh in October this year from 1,735GWh during the corresponding period last year. In fact, the state sector plants produced 79% of the 2,038GWh power that was targeted to be produced in October.
As electricity demand rose with economic activities picking up after the second wave of the pandemic, the state-owned power distribution company, Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) had to procure electricity from a power exchange at high prices to meet the growing demand.
The production of power from coal had also remained low in September. In fact, the production levels showed some improvement in October when compared with September.