Government has taken necessary steps to ensure that peak demand can be met during this summer: Union Power & NRE Minister R.K. Singh

Central Electricity Authority (CEA) monitors coal stock position of coal based thermal power plants (TPPs) in the country on daily basis. As on 05.03.2023, the coal stock available at these TPPs is about 34 MT, which is sufficient to run the plant for 12 days at a requirement of 85% PLF. This is about 50% of the coal stocking norms issued by Central Electricity Authority.

During this summer, the peak demand is expected to be around 230 GW. Ministry of Power (MoP) has taken following steps to ensure that the peak demand can be met during this summer:

    1. An Inter-Ministerial Sub Group comprising of representatives from Ministry of Power, Ministry of Coal, Ministry of Railways, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Coal India Limited (ClL) and Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) meet regularly to take various operational decisions to enhance supply of coal to thermal power plants as well as for meeting any contingent situations relating to   Power Sector including to alleviate critical coal stock position in power plants.
    2. An Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) has been constituted comprising of Chairman, Railway   Board;   Secretary,   Ministry of Coal; Secretary,   Ministry   of   Environment, Forest    and    Climate   Change   and Secretary, Ministry of Power; to monitor augmentation of coal supply and power generation capacity. Coal dispatch from the captive coal blocks is also being monitored regularly.
    3. MoP vide order dated 20.02.2023 has issued directions to Imported coal based plants under Section 11 of Electricity Act to operate and generate power to their full capacity.
    4. MoP vide order dated 09.01.2023 directed Central/State Gencos and IPPs to take necessary actions to import coal for blending at the rate of 6% by weight through a transparent competitive procurement so as to have sufficient stock at their power plants for smooth operations till September 2023.
    5. MoP has directed thermal power plants to not take any planned outage during April and May 2023.
    6. MoP has approved mechanism for operationalisation of around 5000 MW gas based power plants for 18 days during crunch period (Apr-May 2023).

NTPC is planning to import around 5.4 million tons of coal for its group stations to meet domestic coal supply shortage during first half of Financial Year 2023-24.

The price of the imported coal is not comparable with the price of the domestic coal as it has higher calorific value. The pricing of imported coal is linked with International Indices for imported coal, source of origin and factors like ocean freight, insurance etc. which vary with international demand supply scenario. Every generating company imports coal as per its requirements. Cost of fuel including imported coal is passed into generation tariff in accordance with regulations of appropriate Electricity Regulatory Commission.

This information was given by the Minister of Power Sh. R.K. Singh in the Rajya Sabha Today.

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