Amid rising power consumption that has led to a spike in coal demand, Energy Minister RK Singh said on Tuesday that the country’s dry fuel production needs to be improved.
At a press conference, the minister said daily power demand is increasing, adding that it averages about 40,000 megawatts to 45,000 megawatts more than normal demand, around the same time last year.
The Energy Minister informed the media that Coal India has increased production but not to the required level, reducing dry fuel stocks.
“On April 1, 2022, the reserved coal stock was 24 million tons, but on May 31 it was 18.5 million tons. Now it has dropped further to 20 million tons,” said Mr Singh.
He said most states facing coal shortages have now started importing dry fuel.
Power demand has been fueled by an unprecedented heat wave, which has led to increased consumption.
However, as coal supplies steadily run out, power plants are unable to meet rising demand, leading to an energy crisis-like situation in the country.
According to data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) for June 6, 2022, 17 of the 165 thermal power plants across the country still have 5 percent or less coal reserves than the normative amount needed.
In addition, all 165 thermal stations have less than a third of the normative coal reserves.