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India’s Thermal Power Plants

India’s Thermal Power Plants:

The Prime Minister’s Office reviewed the coal stock situation in India’s thermal power plants.

  • India’s thermal power plants currently have an average of four days worth of coal stock against a recommended level of 15-30 days, with a number of states highlighting concerns about blackouts as a result of the coal shortage.
  • Coal and lignite fired thermal power plants account for about 54 per cent of India’s installed power generation capacity but currently account for about 70 per cent of power generated in the country.
  • Purchase bids on the Day Ahead Market (DAM) on the India Energy Exchange (IEX) on October 12 were for 430,778 MWh (Megawatt-hours) up from 174,373 MWh a month ago.
  • The shortage in coal is a result of a sharp uptick in power demand as the economy recovered from the effects of the pandemic.
  • A sharp increase in the international prices of coal due to a shortage in China and low accumulation of stock by thermal power plants in the April-June period have also contributed to the coal shortage.
  • Heavy rains in coal bearing areas in September had also led to a slowdown in the supply of coal to thermal plants.
  • The power ministry has also permitted power generators using local coal to use upto a 10 per cent blend of imported coal to boost coal stocks.