No power crunch, says India over blackout fears

·1-min read
Coal accounts for nearly 70 percent of India's electricity generation (AFP/Indranil MUKHERJEE)

India has ample coal stocks to meet the demand of its power plants, the government said Sunday, seeking to allay fears of imminent blackouts in New Delhi and other cities.

The current fuel stock at coal-powered plants is about 7.2 million tons, sufficient for four days, the ministry of coal said.

Government-owned mining giant Coal India also has a stock of more than 40 million tons which is being supplied to power stations.

"Any fear of disruption in power supply is entirely misplaced," the ministry said in a statement.

The clarification came a day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal warned of a looming power crisis in the megacity which is home to over 20 million people.

Several regions across India have been hit by supply shortages in recent months, with utility providers resorting to unscheduled power cuts.

India's coal-fired power stations had an average of four days' stock at the end of September, the lowest in years.

The shortage in India, the world's second-largest coal-consuming country, follows widespread power outages in China that have shut factories and hit production and global supply chains.

Coal accounts for nearly 70 percent of India's electricity generation and around three-quarters of the fossil fuel is mined domestically.

As Asia's third-largest economy rebounds following a coronavirus wave, heavy monsoon rains have flooded coal mines and disrupted transport networks, leading to a sharp rise in prices for coal buyers, including power stations.

International coal prices have also soared.

The ministry however sounded upbeat Sunday, saying that despite heavy monsoons and a steep hike in power demand, "domestic supplies have supported power generation in a major way".

abh/axn

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