Guwahati: Assam and several north-eastern states are heading towards a severe power crisis situation as thermal power production has gone down due to shortage of coal reserve that has hit the country since last week.

On Sunday, the Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) had also issued a notification stating that the state was looking at shortage of power supply due to the coal crisis.

Massive power cuts are also expected in Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram during this festive season, sources added.

“Due to limited coal availability, the generation of power from thermal generating stations has decreased considerably. The power position is clearly at critical level and power outages/ load shedding may be inevitable. Kindly bear with us and use electricity judiciously. Energy saved is energy generated. inconvenience is highly regretted,” the notification said.

The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has also warned that coal reserves at over half of the country’s power plants could burn out in three days or less, as a post-pandemic surge in manufacturing spiked demand for power and caught power producers off guard.

In Assam, the present coal crisis has affected power generation in National Thermal Power Project (NTPS) run Bongaigaon Thermal Power Project at Salakati in Kokrajhar district. Since the last week, the BTPS has supplied only 100 MW to the state. The BTPS is one of the major sources of power for the APDCL in Assam.

The depletion of coal stock in the thermal power stations is the only reason for low production, sources in the state power department here said.

Presently, the BTPS has been supplying only 200 MW electricity to APDCL since the past few days due to the crisis. There is a 50 per cent shortage in power generation in the plant, a senior official of APDCL said.

The state generates 330 MW power from BTPS and Namrup Thermal Power Station (NTPS) in Dibrugarh district out of its power demand of 1600 MW evry day.

Due to low generation, the state has to purchase power from India Energy Exchange Ltd, ONGC power plant at Paltana in Tripura, Tripura Power Generation Co Ltd, and the Loktak Hydroelectric Project at Manipur.

“We are ready to face the crisis. We are looking for other sources of power to meet up the crisis,” APDCL managing director Rakesh Kumar said.

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