"Thermal plants are to use at least 10 per cent biomass. Of that, 50 per cent would be parali," Environment, Forests and Climate Change Secretary R.P. Gupta told media persons.
The All India Engineers’ Federation (AIPEF) has invoked section 11 of the Electricity Act 2003 to oppose the import of coal for 15 thermal stations with 17 GW capacity by the Ministry of Power.
This is the third time the deadline for coal import was extended. The first extension was given to full capacity up to September 30, and then extending the period to October 31, and then again to June 30, 2024, for all the thermal generating stations operational in the state.
AIPEF Chairman Shailendra Dubey on Thursday alleged that this is a clear case of providing business and profits to the companies engaged in coal trading /coal import while loading the cost escalation due to import on the common electricity consumers.
He said that the Ministry of Coal has strongly contended that there is no shortage of coal, and the coal stock and supply position is vastly improved this year as compared to the previous year. But the data and statistics released by the coal ministry indicate that coal import was not justified, he said.
As per the Coal Ministry’s record, the coal stock on October 21, 2023 was 71.35 million tonne as against 60.44 million tonne last year. Besides, coal production in the CIL and Singareni and captive mines was (12.73 per cent higher as compared to last year).
Dubey said that the Ministry of Power’s decision to continue coal imports up to June 30, 2024, resulting in a high generation is not justified since the Ministry of Coal has ensured the availability of domestic coal which is far more economical.
The All India Engineers’ Federation demands that Ministry of Power orders extending the import period up to June 30, 2024, be withdrawn and more economic indigenous coal is utilized instead as there is no shortage or crisis in the availability of indigenous coal.
The AIPEF chairman said if any coal is to be imported henceforth, the Ministry of Power should bear the extra cost of imported coal since the more economic alternative of Indian coal was already available in stock at thermal power stations across the country.