Rising prices of imported coal and natural gas have adversely affected the power plants – that operate without thermal and gas-fired power plants with a capacity of 6,400 MW in Gujarat.
A senior state government official stated that they have been buying 4,000-5,000 MW of power every day from the exchange. The official further said that the price of imported coal has doubled and currently they are left with two options – buy load shedding or power and supply to customers.
The state’s private power producers have temporarily shut down 4,000 MW thermal power plants powered by imported coal. These include private power plants Adani Power (1,000 MW), Essar Power (1,000 MW), and a subsidiary of Coastal Gujarat Power Limited – Tata Power (2,000 MW).
Combining this issue, natural gas prices have risen, causing the 2,400-megawatt gas-fired power plant to become non-functional. In addition, the state-run thermal power plant is operating at 50 percent capacity due to wet coal received from Coal India Limited.
As per Energy expert K.K. Bajaj, if the state government continues to buy expensive electricity, power consumers in Gujarat will have to be prepared to pay higher FPPPA charges from next January. He said that GUVNL has no option but to buy expensive electricity from the exchange as coal is not available for the thermal plant.
The power situation in Gujarat is fragile as three private producers – Adani, Tata, and Essar – have stopped production at the Mundra and Salaya plants and Indonesian coal prices have risen sharply from Rs 8,000 per metric tonne to Rs 12,500 per metric tonne.