Nearly half of India's coal power plants have one week of stocks

NEW DELHI Tue Jul 8, 2014 1:41am IST

A worker unloads coal from a truck inside a coal yard at Saroda village in Gujarat July 5, 2014.  REUTERS/Amit Dave

A worker unloads coal from a truck inside a coal yard at Saroda village in Gujarat July 5, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Amit Dave

Related Topics

Stocks

   

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Nearly half of India's coal-fired power stations only have enough stocks to last a week, the power minister said, as the country struggles to connect millions to the grid and wrestles with a growing coal import bill.

Coal imports equate to about one percent of India's economy as state behemoth Coal India, the world's largest coal miner, has failed to raise output fast enough to meet demand.

This leads to frequent blackouts, something new Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keen to fix soon but which will raise coal shipments from countries such as Indonesia, Australia and South Africa. Coal fires more than half of India's electricity.

Power Minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday 26 out of 100 coal-based power plants in India had "super critical coal stock" - enough to meet requirements for less than four days.

A total of 44 plants, including the super critical ones, have "critical coal stocks" sufficient for less than a week, with the majority in the state of Maharashtra, the home of India's financial capital Mumbai.

"In order to ensure adequate availability of coal, Coal India Limited has been impressed upon to enhance production of domestic coal in the country and power utilities have also been advised to enhance imports of coal," Goyal told lawmakers.

India is already the world's third-largest coal importer despite sitting on the fifth largest reserves, mainly due to delays in securing environmental clearances to add new mines and to build facilities to transport coal from remote mines.

Coal-fired power plants are expected to see demand of 551.60 million tonnes this fiscal year ending March 31, but supply will be limited to 466.89 million, Goyal said.

In April-June, Coal India supplied 88.66 million tonnes to power companies against a target of 101.61 million. Coal shipments rose as a result.

India's imports of thermal coal, used in power generation, rose 11 percent to 14.77 million tonnes in June, according to a joint venture of Tata Steel and Steel Authority of India Ltd.

Weaker-than-average monsoon rain this year could also encourage coal imports as hydro-electric production is expected to fall.

(Editing by David Evans)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
MinerFortyNiner wrote:
“For want of a nail….” The rest of the world is awash in coal, or lacks the resources to build power plants. India has power plants but has failed to provide them with coal.

Electric energy is worth whatever it costs to obtain. The people need electric power in order to live their lives and run their businesses. There is no excuse for not providing adequate coal to power plants that are waiting to operate.

Jul 08, 2014 2:09am IST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Press Event

Press Event

Modi takes tea, but no questions, in first press event as PM.  Full Article 

School Shooting

School Shooting

Two killed, four wounded in Washington state school shooting.  Full Article 

Sundar Pichai Elevated

Sundar Pichai Elevated

Google's Pichai to oversee major products and services.  Full Article 

Need For Reforms

Need For Reforms

Euro zone risks "relapse into recession" without structural reforms - Draghi.  Full Article 

Diwali Sales

Diwali Sales

Gold sales jump about 20 pct for Diwali - trade body  Full Article 

World Bank Rival

World Bank Rival

Three major nations absent as China launches W.Bank rival in Asia  Full Article 

Wal-Mart India

Wal-Mart India

Murali Lanka appointed as Wal-Mart India operations chief  Full Article 

Health Of Lenders

Health Of Lenders

25 European banks set to fail health checks - sources.  Full Article 

India Insight

India Insight

Kalki Koechlin on her role as a disabled girl in “Margarita, With a Straw”  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage