Detailing the measures taken by her government since assuming power in 2011, the chief minister blamed National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) for the present crisis as many plants which supply power to the state are not operating to full capacity due to shortage of coal.
"A joint venture of NTPC and Tangedco which is under NTPC management commissioned two units of 500MW capacity each at Vallur in November, 2012, and in August, 2013. These units were producing about 800MW till recently. Unit 1 with a capacity of 500MW is not in service from November 14 on account of inadequate supply of coal from Talcher coal mines of Mahanadhi Coalfields Limited, a subsidiary of Coal India Limited," she said in a letter to the Prime Minister.
Further, the shortfall in the supply of coal affects not only the Vallur unit but the thermal power stations of Tangedco too. The state units have been able to manage the situation thanks to stock piling of coal, the chief minister said.
Tamil Nadu is receiving only 777MW out of its share of 1113MW from Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) due to repairs and maintenance in some of the units there. Similarly, one unit of Madras Atomic Power Plant and one unit of Kaiga Atomic Power Plant are also not in service resulting in a further shortfall of 241MW. In addition, PPN Limited, which is an independent power project, is out of service due to inadequate supply of naphtha by Indian Oil Corporation Limited. All these have compounded the problem resulting in a shortfall of 2500MW, according to the chief minister.
Criticizing the Centre for not allocating power from surplus states by strengthening the transmission network, the chief minister said, "The government managed to pull the state out of darkness by commissioning its own plants till recently based on which I made a statement in the assembly on the power situation. But the crisis started soon after the statement was made due to the coal shortage."
With regard to the North Chennai thermal unit, the chief minister said an unexplained fire accident took place on November 16 at the 600MW Unit 2 which commenced trial power generation recently. This unit is still under the control of BHEL. Due to this unexplained fire accident, the 600MW Unit 1, which is also still under the control of BHEL and under trial production, had to be isolated, resulting in a further loss of generation of about 600 MW.
The chief minister said, "I, therefore, request you to kindly direct the ministry of power and the ministry of coal to take immediate effective steps to ensure that these power plants under the control of central agencies maximize their generation and restore the supply of power to Tamil Nadu. Continued poor performance by the central PSUs causing shortfall in power supply would only lead the people of Tamil Nadu to come to the conclusion that there is a concerted conspiracy to keep the state in the dark," she said.