Indian power sector and especially thermal power, in particular, is passing through its toughest time. Although the thermal power sector has seen tremendous growth in terms of capacity addition and flourished during last few years, but various issues like de-allocation of coal mines, lack of PPA, inability of DISCOM to pay to the generators, environmental and regulatory issues, power plant performance and efficiency, uncertainty and lack of demand, etc. have created stress in thermal power sector.
The Indian power sector has to deliver on the twin challenges of working with low-quality coal as well as meeting modern environment norms. Since linkage coal quantity for many power producers is not sufficient they are dependent and compelled to procure coal through e-auction from multiple sources. While bidding, although the purchaser is opting for good quality of coal suitable for the power plant but the quality being supplied is much inferior to it, which in-turn results into poor performance of the plant. Further with high ash content in this inferior coal, power plants have to burn more quantity of the coal to maintain the schedule generation thus handling the additional burden of ash. This poses a serious challenge to the power stations in terms of disposal of this huge quantity of the ash which adds to the power generation cost, hence adversely affecting the profitability. Also, now with the issuance of new notification by NGT to limit the ash content to 34 % in coal is becoming another serious threat.
Unpredictable delays in clearance of receivables from DISCOMs further impair the ability of the generators to plan their debt service thereby lowering the cash flow and working capital. Also due to the procrastination in sanction of the tariff , additional petitions under ‘’Change-In-Law“, the provision in the PPA, generators are finding it difficult to recover the cost of generation, therefore they are under the heavy threat of financial predicament.
Amidst these enormous challenges the survival of thermal power stations is very much at stake and fear of plant, shut-down looms over management. In order to address this issue-at-large, a National Level conference is being organized at Jindal Institute of Power Technology, Tamnar-Chhattisgarh.
In the conference, a strong emphasis will be given on sharing and exchange of ideas about the best industry practices and operating policies to fuel the thought-process towards improvement and design of new adaptive ways to get out of operational and financial crisis to secure a promising future for the power industry.
This two days’ conference will definitely accelerate the awareness among all and will tend to provide an opportunity to help in evolving new coherent strategies that may pave out to be a giant leap towards the sustainability of thermal power plants and in turn contributing to the commitment of our government to provide power to all by the year 2020.