India imports 76t of coal to meet demand; Electricity tariff to increase: report

India plans to import nearly 76 million tonnes (MT) of coal this fiscal year to make up for shortages of fossil fuels in power plants, a move that could result in a 50-80 paise hike in the electricity tariff. mint reported citing two government officials.

As India’s coal production is hit in the monsoon season and coal supplies to power plants are hit in August and September, the report said state-owned Coal India Ltd would import 15 MT to feed the power plants.

NTPC Ltd, India’s largest power producer, and Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) will import an additional 23 tons of coal. Electric power generation companies (gencos) and independent power producers (IPPs) plan to ship an additional 38 MT this fiscal year. mint reported.

India’s peak electricity demand, met on June 9, hit a record high of 211 GW. On July 20, the maximum electricity demand met was 185.65 GW as demand eased during the monsoon.

Electricity tariffs increase depending on the distance of the power plants from the seaport.

“The fuel bill will vary from generator to generator. For NTPC and DVC, after mixing 10% imported coal, the cost will increase by 50 to 60 Paise per unit. For others, they depend on the distance and vary from 50 paise to 50 paise 80 paise. Given the precautions taken, we will be able to get through the crisis,” one of the government officials told Mint.

The official added: “We have to see until September whether we have weathered the crisis.

During this period, the deficit generally amounts to about 15 tons, which the CIL will cover from the end of July, the official said mint.

“The problem will appear in August-September. We expect that the supply shortage will last until October 15. Hopefully, we will bridge the problem with the help of imported coal. The problem may occur after August 15,” he said officially added.

India has decided to import coal as domestic coal stocks will not meet daily needs in August, September and October, the newspaper said.

Imports are necessary as heatwaves in the country have increased demand. Currently, power plants in India consume nearly 2.1 tons of coal daily.

“Separately, we have given states targets for sourcing imported coal. While NTPC and DVC have been asked to import 23 million tons for the full year, the state gencos and IPPs have been given a target of 38 million tons for the full year 16 mt is the IPP target and 22 mt is the state gencos target said another official quoted above mint.

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