India Finds It Difficult to Manage Non-Dependency On Coal As States Shout Out SOS Over Low Supply
Rajasthan – Coal shortage is becoming a reality for India as much as it is for Lebanon for that matter. For the world’s second-largest economy, this is coming as a shock as the Delhi and Andhra Pradesh governments are giving out calls of crises.
The looming sense of blackouts could become a reality. This has been ascertained after Union Power Minister R.K. Singh could review coal stock at all thermal power plants and felt that shortage was inevitable. He also oversaw situations in the units that supply power to distribution companies in the national capital.
However, the Ministry of Coal has reassured that there is enough to meet everyone’s needs and this false alarm was unnecessary. Meanwhile, the coal stocks are falling miserable in the stock exchanges across the country.
Partha Bhattacharya, FMR Chairman, Coal India apparently, admitted to a shortage that has affected almost 100 power plants across the country. Coal India however, feels its productivity has come back to 1.5 million tonnes daily. It will be stepped up to 1.6 and 1.7 million tonnes in the next few days, he has ascertained. He feels things would get better by December end.
This is not the first time that India has faced this situation. A similar situation had arisen again in September last year. At the moment, media reports confirm that the situation can deteriorate, particularly as the global coal prices have spiked strongly. Coal-dependent sectors like cement can face supply/cost issues.
The other reason for coal productions to be hit was the unseasonal rains that had adversely impacted power generation units in many states, such as Rajasthan, Delhi, Punjab, and Andhra Pradesh. Further, as there is a spurt in energy prices, those consuming imported coal for electricity generation have either curtailed production or preferred shutting down.
In a formal statement to the media, the power ministry has said that the total dispatch of coal from all sources (Coal India Limited, Singareni Collieries Company, Captive Coal Mines, and imported coal) on October 9 was 1.92 million tonnes (19.2 lakh tonnes) against the total consumption was 1.87 million tonnes (18.7 lakh tonnes). “Coal dispatch has exceeded the consumption, thereby indicating a shift to gradual building up of coal stock,” the statement said.