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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address the acute energy crisis the state is facing, owing to the shortage of coal stocks.

To avert chaotic conditions that are likely to arise out of load shedding, the chief minister urged the PM to direct coal and railway ministries to allot 20 coal rakes to thermal states and banks be instructed to provide working capital loans liberally to discoms (distribution companies) till the crisis is tided over.

"In Andhra Pradesh, the post-COVID-19 power demand increased by 15 per cent in the last six months and by 20 per cent in the last one month, coupled with coal shortage is pushing the country's energy sector in turmoil," Jagan said in a letter written to the prime minister.

It has become increasingly difficult to meet the grid demand and the circumstances are pushing the state towards load shedding, he said and urged, "We require your urgent interventions in this hour of crisis."

Unplanned power cuts, once resorted to, will lead to chaotic conditions in the society as the state witnessed in 2012, he added.

Seeking urgent measures to avert load shedding, the CM demanded the revival of stranded/non-working pit-head coal plants in India without PPAs or coal linkage on an emergency basis.

This will save the coal transport time and quantity limitations in coal transportation in non-pit head coal plants, he said.

Jagan also sought the supply of deepwater well gas that is available with ONGC and Reliance on an emergency basis to 2,300 MW stranded/non-working gas plants in the state.

He further said the deficit of nearly 500 megawatts (MW) from central generating stations due to plant maintenance can be bridged by reviving the plants at the earliest or maintenance be postponed.

Highlighting the energy crisis being faced in the state, the chief minister said Andhra Pradesh has been meeting grid demand of about 185-190 mega units (MU) daily. Power generation stations operated by APGENCO, which supply about 45 per cent of the state's energy needs, hardly have coal stocks for 1 or 2 days and generation from these could be impacted further.

APGENCO's coal plants are operating at less than 50 per cent of their 90 MU per day capacity because of coal shortage. The central generating stations (CGS) have also not been able to supply more than 75 per cent of their 40 MU per day capacity, he said.

Further, the CM said to absorb energy from 8,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity, the state has not been executing contracts with coal-based plants and consequently it depends heavily on market purchases for sourcing its shortfall energy.

The daily average market price of about 40 MU per day of energy that the state purchases has increased three times from a daily average of 4.6 per kWh (kilowatt-hour) on September 15 to a daily average of 15 per kWh on October 8 this year, he added.

Jagan also mentioned that the rates in day-ahead and real-time power markets are soaring day by day and have reached the peak of 20 per unit at most times of the day irrespective of peak or off-peak hours.

"The power is also not available in certain hours in the market due to less availability of generation in the country," he said, adding that it is quite an "alarming situation" and finances of distribution companies would deteriorate further if the situation persists.

The power shortage is affecting the last stage of harvesting to farmers, he added. 

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