power crisis: Non-pithead plants may need to stock coal for a minimum of 20 days

power crisis: Non-pithead plants may need to stock coal for a minimum of 20 days

Thermal power plants located away from mines will have to maintain coal stocks adequate to operate at 75% of capacity for at least 20 days, according to new norms the government is expected to soon notify to prevent an energy crisis in the future. This requirement will go up to 22 days in the summer months and a maximum of 23 days in the January-March, a senior government official said. The minimum 20-day requirement is for the heaviest monsoon months of July-September. The government expects norms to end the annual coal-led power crisis after the rainy season, he said.

Power plants located at pitheads will have to stock coal adequate to run for 10 days at 75% capacity in monsoon months and 12 days in April-June. The stations are required to keep a stock of 13 days for January-March.


India is in the grip of a power crisis with plants running low on fuel as demand rose and costly imported fuel rendered nearly 18 GW capacity unviable.

Data till October 17 showed that plants of 165-GW monitored power capacity had four days of average coal stock. Of the 135, 74 plants had less than four days of stock. While the coal situation has not improved substantially, lower demand due to cooler weather in the north and festival holidays has helped alleviate the situation.

Average spot power prices on the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) were ₹4.02 per unit against Rs 14 per unit a week ago. Power and renewable energy minister RK Singh had told ET in an interview that peak demand in summer next year is expected to cross 200 GW.

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