Coal shortage hits India’s NTPC power generation capacity by up to 15 %

Jan 31, 2012 12:00 AM

Against the backdrop of fuel shortage, country's largest power producer NTPC has said that adequate availability of coal could have helped the company to produce 10-15 % more electricity every year.
State-run NTPC has an installed capacity of 36,014 MW.

Responding to a query on how much capacity has been affected by coal shortage, NTPC CMD Arup Roy Choudhury said it would be difficult to quantify.
"Definitely, it (coal shortage) is hurting our generation... maybe we could have produced 10-15 % more every year, if we had got the required amount of coal," he said.

For the current fiscal (2011-12), NTPC's coal requirement is about 164 mm tons (MT). Out of the total, about 114 MT is estimated to come from Coal India.
In October last year, there was a significant dip in domestic coal supplies for NTPC plants that were estimated to have impacted about 4,000 MW power generation capacity.

The disruption was mainly on account of strike by Coal India workers, Telangana agitation and heavy rains. At that time, the affected NTPC power stations include Dadri in National Capital Region, Singrauli & Unchahar in North, Vindhyachal in Madhya Pradesh, Farakka & Kahalgaon in East and Ramagundam & Simhadari in South.
Also, Coal India's lower production is also impacting power projects in the country. Coal India, one of the world's largest coal producers, has revised its production target to 440 MT for the current fiscal from 452 MT.

NTPC also said that Coal India's new pricing mechanism based on Gross Calorific Value (GCV) could lead to generation costs jumping by about 40 %.
"... we have not agreed on the recent proposals on calorific value price. We do not have any issues, if they are able to do so as per international norms, the way they are trying to do now will increase the prices by (up to) 40 % so that's not fair," Choudhury said.

NTPC imports about 16 MT of coal every year to meet its demand. In December, the company commissioned the second unit of 660 MW Sipat Super Thermal Power Project in Chhattisgarh, taking its total capacity to 36,014 MW.
NTPC aims to have an installed capacity of 128,000 MW by 2032. It currently has 15 coal-based, 7 gas-based and 6 joint venture power stations.

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