India’s 1.54 lakh MW installed coal-fired power stations need 750 million tonnes (MT) of coal to run at optimum capacity and only two-thirds of...
India’s 1.54 lakh MW installed coal-fired power stations need 750 million tonnes (MT) of coal to run at optimum capacity and only two-thirds of the required fuel is available to the sector right now, leading to a surge in imports, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi.
Given coal-based power capacity is projected to increase by 40% in another five years, the quantity of coal required to run all power plants fired by the solid fuel is estimated at a billion tonnes, up a quarter from now. Yet, the coal shortage in the country — and, hence, import dependence — will likely come down by 2019, if current plans for Coal India’s output and captive mines being re-allocated materialise.
Domestic coal shortage will be 160 MT in 2019 compared with 250 MT right now. As far as gas-based power is concerned, the requirement of the fuel will be 117 mmscmd by 2019, against 92 mmscmd now. Considering that the domestic gas production is stagnating (only 18 mmscmd is available to the power sector), the situation looks really grim. No wonder gas-based power capacity is heavily under-utilised now and the expansion plans too are moderate. This highlights the need to incentivise domestic gas production.