The imported coal orders by the companies have started coming in, as per reports.
CIL had in June also floated an international tender to source coal from abroad to increase its availability in India.
To meet the coal shortage at power plants in 2022-23, the government has firmed up a plan to import around 76 million tonnes (mt) of the dry fuel during the current financial year. State-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) will import 15 mt, India’s largest power producer NTPC Ltd and Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) will import 23 mt, according to a media report.
State power generation companies and independent power producers (IPPs) are also planning to import 38 mt during the current financial year 2022-23, according to the Mint report. “The fuel bill will vary from generator to generator. For NTPC and DVC, after blending 10 per cent of imported coal, the cost will be up 50-60 paise per unit. For others, it will depend upon distance, and vary from 50 to 80 paise. We shall be able to weather the crisis, given the arrangements that have been made,” the report said quoting an official.
The official added that it is to be observed till September whether the crisis has been weathered or not. The imported coal orders by the companies have started coming in, according to the report.
In June, CIL had also floated an international tender to source coal from abroad to increase its availability in the country. “In a first ever, Coal India Limited on Wednesday floated an international competitive bidding e-tender, seeking bids for import of 2.416 million tonnes (MTs) of coal,” the company had said.
Before this, in June, CIL’s board had approved the issuance of two international tenders — a short-term and a medium-term — for sourcing coal from overseas. The short-term tender for the import of dry fuel for the second quarter of the ongoing financial year is source agnostic. This means the coal can be sourced from any country.
Earlier, the government directed the company to be prepared to import 12 mt of coal for power utilities for the next 13 months. On May 18, the power ministry had also warned that if orders for coal imports are not placed by May 31 and the imported fuel does not start arriving at power plants by June 15, the defaulter gencos will have to increase their imports to the extent of 15 per cent.
Recently, various parts of the country faced electricity cuts. Jharkhand, Punjab, Odisha, Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh mainly faced the issue, due to low coal availability at the power plants amid high demand during the summer season.
Peak power shortage had risen swiftly from a single digit of 5.24 gigawatts (GW) to touch a double-digit of 10.77 GW, showing the effects of various factors like low coal stocks at generation plants, heatwave and other issues on the deepening electricity crisis. In early-May, Delhi’s peak power demand reached 6,194 MW, which is the highest peak power demand ever recorded in the first week of May. In April also, Delhi saw a peak of 6,197 MW, an all-time high for the month of April ever.