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States » East

Coal crisis forced Nalco to import power, shut down pots

Angul, Sep 11 (UNI) Coal shortage forced the public sector national Aluminium Company (Nalco) to import power from the state grid due to low power generation in its captive power plant (CPP).
Nalco has started purchasing power from state grid at a higher rate to keep its smelter alive and contemplating to cut down aluminium production by shutting down of aluminium producing pots in its smelter plant.
According to reports normally eight out of NALCO’s ten 120 MW units are in operation in its CPP but due to coal shortage, seven units now are running in partial load with the generation of about 600Mw of power.
The smelter plant, however, needs about 700 MW of power to produce aluminium by running 890 pots in the plant. Under the circumstance, the PSU has no option but to import power from the state grid at an enhanced rate.
Company sources said it had a coal stock of six lakh tones before last month strike in talcher coalfield following an accidental death in Bharatapur mine. After that there was less coal supply by the Mahanadi Coal Limited (MCL) as a result its stock had come down to one lakh tonne. The daily requirement of Nalco is about 18000 tonne of coal but it gets around an average of 6000 to 7000 tonne of coal from MCL by which the deficit situation has arisen.
A top MCL official when contacted refuted the allegation by Nalco stating that it supplied more than 80 per cent requirement under fuel supply agreement (FSA)and supplying coal by rakes to Nalco on a priority basis.
Nalco trade union leader Nirmal Samal said” Pot shut down is a conspiracy by vested groups to pave the way for the privatization and urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to intervene and save
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