Coal supply to India's power utilities continued to fall in the past three years, with the decline in FY 2020-21 deepened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the country's power ministry.
Coal supplies to power plants stood at 643.7 million, 638.7 million and 596.3 million tonnes in FY 2018-19, FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21, respectively. The volume was 171.7 million tonnes over April-June in 2021.
"Power plants' receipt of coal has registered a slight decline during the past three years. However, during 2020-21 the decline was more due to the effect of COVID-19 pandemic prevailing in the country," Power Minister R K Singh said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
India's largest power generator NTPC said it will halve coal-fired power generation capacity in next 10 years, and meanwhile largely raise renewables share against the overall mix.
The gas consumption by gas-based power plants was consistent at about 30 million metric standard cubic meters per day, said the minister.
The minister added that to tackle the issue of coal supplies to power industry, an Inter-Ministerial Sub Group comprising representatives from ministries of power, coal, railways, shipping as well as Central Electricity Authority (CEA), NTPC and Coal India Ltd (CIL)/ Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) meet regularly to formulate operational decisions for any emergency.
(Writing by Rebecca Liu Editing by Tammy Yang)
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