tata power: Average spot power prices drop as rains bring relief across states
The total coal stock at power houses rose to 7.5 million tonnes on Sunday from 7.28 million tonnes on October 9, according to people aware of the matter. More than 3,500 MW power was surplus in various time blocks on the day-ahead market of
. Most states, except Rajasthan, reported no outages but all of them said the situation remained critical.
Power developers with projects in several parts of the country said they received continuous but rationed coal supply. Data available till October 15 showed four days’ average coal stock at 165 GW- monitored power capacity, of which 89 GW had less than four days of stock.
Gujarat has agreed to purchase 1,200 MW electricity from Adani Power’s imported coal unit at Mundra for Rs 4.5 per unit till the first week of November, said a state official. The project started supplying 1,000 MW on Saturday evening.
Tata Power Mundra project’s two units of 800 MW have come on line to supply power to Gujarat, while a third unit of the same capacity was expected to be operational late Sunday or early Monday, said the official.
A senior official in Maharashtra said four of the state’s generating stations were under maintenance shutdown while one project was not operating due to lack of coal. “There is improvement in coal availability but the crisis is not over yet,” the official said on condition of anonymity, adding that the state was operating 2,000 MW of its hydro capacity round the clock.
Rains across various parts of north, northwest and southern India have led to a dip in temperatures, reducing electricity demand. Spot power prices on the day-ahead market of Indian Energy Exchange for Monday were Rs 3.76 per unit on average and a maximum of Rs 8.5 per unit. Average spot prices on the exchange were Rs 14 per unit last week. They were at Rs 9.67 per unit on Friday for Saturday delivery as demand eased on the back of dipping evening temperatures and the extended weekend.
A Punjab government official said electricity demand reduced to 6,000 MW on Sunday from 9,000 MW on average due to the rains.
According to the Met department, an intense spell of rainfall over northwest India is likely to continue till Tuesday and over east and northeast India till later this week. The Indian Meteorological Department said rainfall over southern Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry would reduce from Sunday.
All states expect to reduce their dependence on spot power markets in the coming days, as demand weakens amid cooler weather and coal supplies to power plants get restored.
Coal supply curtailment from Coal India subsidiaries continued to non-power consumers, including aluminium, paper and cement companies. The coal ministry has asked Coal India to regulate supply to non-power units until the average stock at power plants improves. The restrictions will be eased in the next 10-12 days, by when average inventory at power stations is expected to reach a comfortable level of six-seven days. Coal India has suspended spot coal auctions to the non-power category to prioritise the replenishment of inventory at power stations.