Bengaluru, Nov 21 (PTI) The Karnataka government has decided to procure 2.5 lakh metric tonnes of imported coal at USD 86 per tonne, state Additional Chief Secretary (Energy Department) Gaurav Gupta said on Tuesday.
Gupta said a decision to this effect was taken by the Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL). Accordingly, a work order has been issued but supply is yet to start.
"The state has given an order for 2.5 lakh tonnes of coal. We have issued orders by calling tenders. We will not disclose from where it will be brought. It will be imported coal, which generally comes from Indonesia. The rate is 86 USD per ton," he said at a press conference.
Gupta said there are instructions from the Union Ministry of Power to use imported coal in all the thermal power stations. They have said a minimum six per cent (of imported coal) has to be used. Further, it depends on the design of the thermal power station.
"By using it (imported coal) our thermal power stations can generate over (additional) 600 to 800 MW power from the existing 3,400 MW," he explained.
Speaking on the occasion, state Energy Minister K J George said, "Indian coal is not up to the mark. We can't generate more electricity because it has (produces) huge ash. We decided to blend them. Yesterday when me and our ACS Gaurav Gupta met Central Electricity Minister R K Singh, he asked us to blend coal." "Since our new power plant in Ballari cannot function if good coal is not provided, we decided to import coal. Our Karnataka Power Corporation Limited, where Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is the chairperson and I am vice-chairperson, passed a resolution (to import coal) and issued orders," he added.
The Minister also said the power demand suddenly spiked due to inadequate rains this year.
While the demand used to be about 10,000 MW, it has gone up to 16,000 MW a day, he explained.
George said the government will procure electricity using a barter system with Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. He said the state government has made an agreement that it will return power to them from June.
The state is buying power from Himachal Pradesh, which did not agree to a barter system.
The Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited managing director Pankaj Kumar Pandey said the state is also expecting the electricity demand to be in the range of 15,000 MW to 18,000 MW from February and has made arrangements accordingly. PTI GMS RS SS