Thermal plants staring at coal shortage as demand surges

Power plants across the country are once again staring at coal shortage with a surge in electricity demand and poor domestic coal production threatening to aggravate the situation, according to a report in The Hindu BusinessLine.

The report quoting an analyst said that the situation may turn into a major crisis at a time when Coal India’s production peaks in the winter season.

Many power plants which are dependent on imported coal are idling as international coal prices have seen a significant increase to USD 64.8 per ton yesterday from the low of around USD 40 in 2016.

India is the second largest importer of coal globally importing 200 million tonnes (MT) in 2016 according to a International Energy Agency report.

The government’s push for rural electrification and fall in hydel power generation led to an unforeseen jump in electricity demand, causing a fuel crisis in July 2017. Coal stocks at many thermal plants were running at a critical level at that time.

Coal India is likely to miss its yearly target production of 600 MT and may end up at producing 550 MT at the current monthly average rate of 53MT.moneycontrol