Home / Industry / Energy /  Govt to ask imported coal- based power plants to run at full capacity if needed

NEW DELHI : Union power minister R.K. Singh on Thursday said that the power supply across the country may not be disrupted this year although the power demand is expected to increase to record levels and if required the government will impose Section 11 of the Electricity Act and direct all imported-coal based (ICB) power plants to run at full capacity.

Addressing the media here, the minister said that the government would not hesitate importing coal and blending in order to meet the surging demand.

The statement comes nearly three weeks after the ministry directed all power generation companies in the country to blend imported coal up to 6% of their requirement till September in a bid to avert a power crisis this year.

“We are prepared. There is no question of being a disruption in supply if I need to import coal I will import it. If I need to blend, I will blend," the minister said.

In terms of imposing Section 11 of the Electricity Act, he said that if needed, the government would impose the section.

In May 2022 amid a looming power crisis, the ministry had issued a directive under Section 11 of the Electricity Act, directing all imported coal-based power plants to operate and generate power at their full capacity to meet the growing demand.

The recent directive came in the backdrop of projections of a deficit of 24 million tonne in coal stocks during the first half of the next fiscal.

India witnessed record power demand of 211.6 GW in June 2022. During 2023, the power demand is expected to be around 225 GW during summer

The minister also talked about the first meeting of the Energy Transitions Working Group for G20 to be held in Bengaluru during 5-7 February.

Singh said that energy security would be in the centre stage of the discussions during G20 meetings this year. He also noted that the Energy Transitions Working Group while retaining focus on achieving energy transition, will emphasize addressing technology gaps and financing to ensure that it is delivered across countries in a time-bound and affordable manner without compromising the energy needs of the communities.

On the sidelines, a high-level international seminar on ‘Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS)’ has been organized at the first ETWG. The seminar will focus on highlighting the importance of carbon capture, utilization and storage considered vital for achieving net-zero targets.

To set the agenda and identify action areas for the planned Energy Transition Ministerial Meeting (ETMM), the ETWG will conduct four working group meetings. 

India is hosting 150+ delegates from 19 countries, European Union and 9 guest countries. In addition, leading international organizations, regional organizations and knowledge partners will be part of the meeting.

Rituraj Baruah
Rituraj Baruah is a senior correspondent at Mint, reporting on housing, urban affairs, small businesses and energy. He has reported on diverse sectors over the last six years including, commodities and stocks market, insolvency and real estate. He has previous stints at Cogencis Information Services, Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) and Inc42.
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