Coal Crisis: Coal reserves at 86 thermal power plants in the country are at critical levels as of October 18. Six of these plants are based on imported fuel. This information has been received from a report of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA). The situation of coal reserves in a power plant is considered critical when its coal reserves are less than 25 percent of the normal level.
According to the CEA report dated October 18, 2023, the situation of coal reserves in 86 out of 181 monitored thermal power plants in the country is critical. Of these 86, six are imported coal based plants. CEA monitors 181 coal-based thermal power plants in the country with a total installed generation capacity of 206 GW.
According to the report, 148 domestic coal-based power plants located away from coal mines with a total capacity of about 149 GW have coal reserves below 29 percent of the normal level. These 148 plants had about 12.7 million tonnes of coal as of October 18, 2023, against the standard level of 43.5 million tonnes.
The condition of coal based plants located near 18 mines in the country is better. These plants have 81 percent coal as compared to the normal level. The total power generation capacity of these 18 plants is about 40 GW. Experts believe that generally the situation of dry fuel stock in plants located near coal mines is not serious. Whereas for those plants which are not near coal mines, coal has to be transported from far away places.
The coal stock position in 15 imported coal-fired power plants under CEA monitoring was better. These plants had 52 percent coal reserves from the normal level. The total production capacity of these 15 imported coal based plants is 17 GW.
The report revealed that these 181 power plants with a total capacity of about 206 GW had coal reserves of 20.4 million tonnes (38 percent of the ideal level) against the standard level of 54.3 million tonnes. The daily fuel requirement of these 181 plants is 28 lakh tonnes. Thus, they have coal reserves to last a little more than seven days till October 18, 2023.
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