Kerala facing the heat of coal crisis but Electricity Minister says no restrictions till October 19

By Special Correspondent

Electricity Minister K. Krishnankutty on Monday said that the State was facing a shortage of roughly 300 MW in central supply due to the coal crisis, but ruled out the possibility of load shedding or power cuts till October 19.

Whether restrictions would be needed or not will be decided after a review of the power situation on October 19, Mr. Krishnankutty told reporters after holding discussions with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and B. Ashok, chairman and managing director, Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB).

According to the Minister, the coal shortage that has hit thermal power plants across the country has resulted in a reduction of about 300 MW daily in the State’s daily electricity availability.

Additional purchase

To make up for the shortfall, State-run KSEB has been purchasing an additional 100 MW from the open market. This is attracting an additional liability of ₹2 crore on a daily basis, Mr. Krishnankutty said.

At present, the the peak-hour power demand in the State stands at 3,800 MW. For meeting the requirement, internal power generation contributes ,1600 MW and the remaining 2,200 MW is met through supply from the central pool and prior power purchase agreements.

The Electricity Minister also urged the KSEB's 1.3 crore consumers to use electricity judiciously, especially during the peak consumptions to help avoid power restrictions.

Kerala depends heavily on ‘electricity imports’ to meet the daily requirement. As the State has been receiving copious rainfall, hydel generation has been increased as part of the effort to avert power restrictions.

As on Sunday, the combined storage of the hydel reservoirs stands at 83%, adequate to generate 3450.8 million units (MU). Daily power consumption averages 71 MU at present.


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