November 19, 2017

Power rate at IEX touches a high of Rs7.5 per unit due to coal shortage, say experts


New Delhi: Power prices at the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) touched a high of Rs7.5 per unit last week, suggesting that power generation is still haunted by coal shortage at thermal plants, experts said.

The highest price of power in day ahead market at IEX on Friday last was Rs7.5 per unit or Kwh while the average rate was Rs3.74 per unit.

“The variation in the highest and average market clearing price in day ahead market on Friday clearly shows some demand and supply gap,” a power sector expert said. This is happening because merchant sellers are either getting expensive coal or short supplies, the expert said.

According to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) data, of the 112 thermal plants monitored by it, as many as 11 non-pithead plants had super critical stock situation on 16 November, 2017. The super critical stock situation means that these plant had coal stocks for less than 4 days.

Eleven coal based non-pithead power plants had critical coal stock situation meaning they had coal for less than a week on 16 November, 2017.

A day ahead of Diwali on 18 October, 2017, power ministry had announced implementation of a detailed plan to ensure sufficient supply of coal to power plants to allay fears of electricity outages. The ministry made announcement after in view of coal shortages at power plants.

The spot power price had also touched a peak of over Rs10 per unit last month.

“A detailed plan has been agreed which would be implemented from October 18, 2017 and would ensure sufficient supply of coal to power plants,” a power ministry had said in a statement issued on 18 October, 2017. Official data showed that coal dispatches from state-run miner CIL had risen by 18% to around 33 million tonnes in October.