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Coal crisis: Is India heading for a blackout? What we know so far

Out of the total coal supply from all sources, thepresent coal supply from CIL to power sector is more than 14 lakh tonnes per day, according to the government (Mint)Premium
Out of the total coal supply from all sources, thepresent coal supply from CIL to power sector is more than 14 lakh tonnes per day, according to the government (Mint)

  • Due to high international prices of coal, supply of power even under PPAs by import based power plants has reduced by almost 30 % while domestic based power supply has gone up nearly 24 % in H1 of this year, according to the government

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Amid concerns being expressed about a possible power crisis in the wake of reports of coal shortage in the country, the government has once again assured that there is ample coal available in the country to meet the demand for power plants. The government also clarified that any fear of disruption in power supply is entirely misplaced. 

“The coal stock at power plant is sufficient for more than 4 days’ requirement and as the coal supply is being ramped up by CIL, the coal stock at power plant would gradually improve," according to the Union Ministry of Power.

Here is all you need to know about the current coal crisis and power shortage in the country: 

-Out of the total coal supply from all sources, thepresent coal supply from CIL to power sector is more than 14 lakh tonnes per day and with the receding rains, this supply has already increased to 15 lakh tonnes and is set to increase to more than 16 lakh tonnes per day by the end of October 2021, clarified Ministry of Coal.

-The coal available at the power plants is a rolling stock which gets replenished by the supplies from the coal companies on a daily basis.

-Despite heavy rains in the month of August – September 2021, steep hike in power demand due to economic recovery and increase in prices of imported coal, domestic coal supply have sustained the operation of power plants and all out efforts are being made to ensure full power supply to the DISCOMs as per there requirements.

How various states in India are coping with the power crisis:

Gujarat: Tata Power, which has signed contracts to supply 1,850 MW of electricity to Gujarat, 475 MW to Punjab, 380 MW to Rajasthan, 760 MW to Maharashtra and 380 MW to Haryana from its imported coal-based power plant at Mundra in Gujarat, has stopped generation. 

Punjab: State-owned utility PSPCL saying that up to three-hour daily power cut will remain in the state till October 13. Severe coal shortage has forced the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) to cut down power generation and impose load shedding.

Rajasthan: In Rajasthan, electricity supplies are being cut for one hour daily

Tamil Nadu: Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) said that power will be suspended in parts of Chennai for carrying out maintenance work in the city. 

Jharkhand and Bihar are also among the worst affected by the coal shortage.

Andhra Pradesh:  In Andhra Pradesh, acute supply shortfalls were pushing it towards unscheduled power cuts, adding that crops could dry up if there is no electricity to power irrigation pumps. "

Kerala: Kerala Electricity Minister K Krishnankutty on Sunday said the State government may have to resort to load-shedding in case shortage of power from the Central pool continues for a long time due to non-availability of coal for the thermal power plants.

Madhya Pradesh: Madhya Pradesh Energy Minister Pradhuman Singh Tomar on Sunday claimed that the state stood at a better position. The minister also said that the state government has floated tenders to purchase eight metric tonnes of coal for its power stations.

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