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India's thermal power plants utilise 35 MT imported coal, meeting high demand

06 Jun 2023

Despite the government mandating thermal power plants to blend imported coal up to 6 percent, only 3 percent has been achieved on an average so far. Yet, the India managed to save at least 46 MT of domestic coal with the import mandate.

India's domestic thermal power plants (TPPs) have utilised approximately 35 million tons (MT) of imported coal since the government mandated the blending of imported coal to the extent of 6 percent of their requirement, according to senior officials in the power ministry. However, power generation companies (gencos) have only been able to blend 3 percent of their coal requirement, falling short of the mandated 6 percent.

To avoid a recurrence of the coal crisis experienced last year, the government issued an order on January 9, 2023, requiring all gencos to use imported coal to the extent of 6 percent of their requirement. This mandate will remain in effect until September this year. Gencos failing to comply with the directive face restrictions on a pro-rata basis, as per the order.

In the previous year, India's power sector imported 38.84 MT of coal between April and October 2023. This year, gencos have already imported at least 35 MT of coal within just five months. In the entire year of 2021-22, the power sector imported a total of 27 MT of coal.