Coal stocks at power plants dwindle to the level barely enough to light the nation for five days

Coal stocks at power plants on the eve of Diwali have dwindled to the level barely enough to light the nation for five days. Nine generating stations with a total capacity of 14,100 mw have zero stocks, and nearly 40% of them have fuel for not even four days.
The total number of stations with coal stock less than a week is about 60% although Coal India Ltd (CIL) has supplied 10% extra fuel to the power sector and eastern railways has announced the highest-ever coal loading. The total national coal stock in power plants is 7.3 million tonnes, against the norm of about 22 million tonnes. Some 35 thermal power stations have stocks to last for hardly four days while 52 have stocks that will not last a week.

Inadequate power supply has led to rising of spot power prices and is worrying officials at the ministry. Power prices in the India Energy Exchange have just doubled from 2 per unit a fortnight ago to 4 per unit now.

This has worried the power ministry. “We are constantly reviewing the coal stock position at power plants and have written a letter to CIL asking them to improve stock positions,” Union Power Secretary Uma Sankar told ET.

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