By Sudarshan Chhotoray in Bhubaneswar, December 11, 2018: Coal based industries in Odisha face hurdles in getting required amount of coal to run their plants at a time when the state government boasts of hosting ‘Make in Odisha Conclave’ and attracting investment of more than 4. 5 lakh crore.

Odisha needs 57.77 percent of Coal of the total production to run the coal based plants which are getting only 27.77 percent, industry source said.

Representatives of Aluminum, Steel, Power and Paper industries expressed their concerns over non-availability of coal at a seminar on ‘Dialogue for Coal security a for Odisha based Industries’ organized by The Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industries (UCCI) here on Friday.

While setting context of the meeting, President, UCCI Ramesh Mahapatra said that even though we are largest coal producing state, our own coal based industries are not getting their basic raw materials.

“We have already raised the issue at Chief Secretary level seeking State Government’s intervention, if required we will draw attention of union Government because both Coal and Railways are coming under Union Government’s Jurisdiction”, said Mahapatra.

Many Odisha based Industries who were also part of expression of intents to expand their investment in Odisha including Vedanta Jindal, JK Papers, Facor, NALCO are facing severe Coal shortage which has affected their operations in the state.

“It has been told that many Captive power plants are performing only between 60-70 percent of their installed capacity and are largely dependent on import coal which is almost double of the locally available coal”. stated CEO of Vedanta Aluminum Limited Abhijit Pati.

He further added that It forces them to maintain only 2-3 days of operation.

While speaking at the seminar Whole Time Director of Jindal Stainless Shashibhushan Upadhyay said “as due to non available of rakes in Railways Yards ports like Paradip, Dhamra and Gopalpur their imported Coal didn’t reach to the plants”.He linked the issue of transportation of coal to the designated plants as non-materialisation of rakes by Railway authorities worsening the coal crisis in the state.

The situation aggravated following the unilaterally decision of Mahanadi Coal Fields Limited (MCL) which is the largest producer of Coal in the state to supply coal to Independent Power Producers (IPPs) outside state other than Odisha.

Out of total 16,800 MW power production in the State, Captive Power Plants(CPPs) have the share of 7,800 MW whereas they largely depend on locally produced coal they get only 10-15 million tonne coal while they are elusive about remaining 25-30 million tonne.

Out of total coal production 144 million tonnes of Odisha only 40 million tonnes are given to Odisha based Industries including CPPs but their requirements of 40 million tonnes they hardly get only 10-15 million tonnes, said industry sources. Rest 100 million tonnes have been sent and sold outside Odisha.

According to the data available with The Pioneer during the last financial year MCL’s production was 144 Million Tonnes of that Talcher mines produced 82 million tonnes, IB mines in Jharsuguda produced 48.5 million tonnes and both Kulda and Basundhara mines in Sundergarh produced 13.5 million tonnes. Odisha ‘s total requirements including Government Power producers and Private Industries put together is 76 million tonnes of Coal.

Government Power companies like NTPC, ONGC, SAIL require 36 million tonnes of that they approximately get 30 million tonnes while private industries like Vedanta, Hindalco, JSPL, TaTa Steel, Bhishan, Cement and Paper Industries require 40 million tonnes of which they hardly get 10 million tonnes.

While MCL’s production remain static during the last 3-4 years besides existing CPPs and IPPs new power companies have started their production in Odisha.

While the state of Odisha is endowed with 24.52 percent of coal reserves and 15 percent of coal production in India the local industries have been striving for sustainability due to acute shortage of coal supplies. Unfortunately the supplies of coal India to CPPs in Country is only 12-13 million tonnes.

The meeting was attended by senior Executives of State’s largest aluminum, Iron, Steel, Paper, Cement and Fertilizer Industries.

The welcome address was made by UCCI Director General Rajen Padhi. Prominent among the Speakers were vi UCCI Office bearers Asit Pradhan, A K Sharada, Dhiren Dhal, Sanjiv Mahapatra, Ashoka Chinchhela, Purushotam Sarangi etc.

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