Hyderabad: Shortage of fuel - both gas and coal - was the only reason for the growing electricity scarcity in the country, particularly in the south, Central Electricity Authority Chairman AS Bakshi said in Hyderabad on Saturday. "Coal shortage will continue for at least 3-4 years though we have adequate reserves. Domestic coal supply to power generating stations has increased by eight per cent in 2013, but still there will be a shortage of 45 million tonnes in 2014," Bakshi said at a press conference.
Saying that "capacity is not a constraint, fuel is", the CEA chairman said that 20,000 MW of additional power generation capacity was added in 2013. While coal was already being imported for thermal plants, import of LNG and production of shale gas could be the options for gas-based power generating stations in the long term. Referring to the acute power crisis in the southern states, particularly Andhra Pradesh, Bakshi said there were several reasons such as shortage of fuel and (transmission) corridor-related issues. "There was a poor monsoon last year, there is severe shortage of gas and coal, there was delay in commissioning of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant.
"But these are temporary problems that will be resolved in due course of time." Kudankulam nuclear power plant with initial generating capacity of 1,000 MW was expected to be commissioned in April 2013, but AP would not get any electricity from it, he said. "But then AP can get power from other states as the
corridor becomes free. It has requested the Centre to supply the unallocated quantity of about 350 MW from Kudankulam," Bakshi added.