New Delhi: Witnessing throes of power crisis, India is most likely to face at least six months of crisis in order to ensure coal-fired power plants have sufficient fuel as the country stares at a worsening squeeze in coal supply.
Several reports indicate that more than half of the power plants in India are about to face outages after a surge in electricity demand and a slump in local coal output eroded stockpiles.
According to the Power Ministry, 135 thermal power plants of the country are left with an average of just four days of coal stocks, down from 13 days of supplies in early August.
“I don’t know whether I will be comfortable in the next five to six, four to five months,” Power Minister Raj Kumar Singh told The Indian Express during an interview.
Singh even said that with coal demands typically slow down with cooler weather from mid-October, “it’s going to be touch and go.”
India’s power supply shortage follows neighbouring China, where the manufacturing sector has started suffering contraction since the start of Covid-19 pandemic. The Chinese government has asked all state-owned energy firms to secure their fossil fuel supplies in order to avoid winter shortages.
“In at least a portion of India’s coal fleet, the situation has deteriorated in the past week. Coal plants accounting for between 40 gigawatts to 50 gigawatts of capacity currently have less than three days of fuel stocks,” Singh told the newspaper.
Both India and China are facing severe power supply shortage due to sharp surge in electricity demand, a decline in domestic mine output and surging prices of seaborne coal.
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