Now, RTPS struggles to find space to store excess coal

Coal consumption has dropped as five generating units have shut down

The Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS), which was struggling to get water for its cooling towers, is now up against another problem: where to find space for coal storage. With the shutting down of five of its eight generating units due to severe shortage of water, the coal requirement for the station has drastically reduced.

Coal being unloaded at the Raichur Thermal Power Station.— PHOTO: SANTOSH SAGAR

The Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS), which was struggling to get water for its cooling towers, is now up against another problem: where to find space for coal storage. With the shutting down of five of its eight generating units due to severe shortage of water, the coal requirement for the station has drastically reduced.

This has resulted in coal exceeding the storage capacity at the station, with coal supply coming in every day. While it cannot stop coal supply as the contract with the coal supplier cannot be broken, having excess coal during summer is not advisable as it could easily catch fire.

RTPS requires 24,000 tonnes of coal every day for operating its eight units (seven of which have an installed capacity of 210 MW and Unit-8 has 250 MW capacity). It receives around 7 rakes of coal (each rake contains around 3,200 tonnes) every day from Singareni Coal Mines, Andhra Pradesh, Mahanadi Coalfields in Talcher, Odisha, and Western Coalfields in Nagpur, Maharashtra.

Keeping in mind the coal requirement of Yermarus Thermal Power Station (YTPS), which recently commenced synchronisation, Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. had made arrangements to get a couple of more coal rakes every day. The additional coal is being stored at RTPS coal yard as rail link is not yet established for YTPS.

As per official sources, the RTPS coal yard is almost full, with a stock of 6.8 lakh tonnes of coal, and there is little space for further stock. The officials say that coal handling, particularly during summer, is a tiresome task as the coal tends to catch fire as the temperature soars. Though coal yard staff continuously spray water on the stock, incidents of coal catching fire are frequent.

Since the Krishna, Basavasagara reservoir and Googal barrage from where the water is pumped to RTPS are almost dry, the hope of resumption of power generation in the near future is also bleak.

The officials are of the view that only a good monsoon after the summer can bring relief.

This has resulted in coal exceeding the storage capacity at the station, with coal supply coming in every day. While it cannot stop coal supply as the contract with the coal supplier cannot be broken, having excess coal during summer is not advisable as it could easily catch fire.

RTPS requires 24,000 tonnes of coal every day for operating its eight units (seven of which have an installed capacity of 210 MW and Unit-8 has 250 MW capacity). It receives around 7 rakes of coal (each rake contains around 3,200 tonnes) every day from Singareni Coal Mines, Andhra Pradesh, Mahanadi Coalfields in Talcher, Odisha, and Western Coalfields in Nagpur, Maharashtra.

Keeping in mind the coal requirement of Yermarus Thermal Power Station (YTPS), which recently commenced synchronisation, Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. had made arrangements to get a couple of more coal rakes every day. The additional coal is being stored at RTPS coal yard as rail link is not yet established for YTPS.

As per official sources, the RTPS coal yard is almost full, with a stock of 6.8 lakh tonnes of coal, and there is little space for further stock. The officials say that coal handling, particularly during summer, is a tiresome task as the coal tends to catch fire as the temperature soars. Though coal yard staff continuously spray water on the stock, incidents of coal catching fire are frequent.

Since the Krishna, Basavasagara reservoir and Googal barrage from where the water is pumped to RTPS are almost dry, the hope of resumption of power generation in the near future is also bleak.

The officials are of the view that only a good monsoon after the summer can bring relief.