Imported coal plants urged to operate fully until September
COAL & MINING

Imported coal plants urged to operate fully until September

The power ministry announced that imported coal-based power plants were required to operate at maximum capacity until September 30 to meet the increased power demand caused by high temperatures nationwide. In February, the ministry had instructed these plants to run optimally from March 16 to June 15 under Section 11 of the Electricity Act. The recent directive effectively extended this timeline by more than three months.

Initially, power demand was projected to reach its peak at around 229 GW in April. However, due to changes in weather conditions, it reached 216 GW in April and 221 GW in May. Nevertheless, the rising temperatures in the last two weeks have further increased the demand. On June 9, India experienced its highest-ever peak power demand at 223 GW, although it was still lower than the projected peak.

Moreover, the upcoming challenge of the monsoon season is expected to result in a decline in domestic coal production and evacuation. Imported coal-based power plants can play a crucial role during this period. Section 11 of the Electricity Act allows the government to request a generating company to operate and maintain a station according to its directions in extraordinary circumstances.

This section was invoked last year as well, when power demand had surged and domestic coal supply and related supply chains were restricted. The notification was withdrawn in December, which resulted in a decrease in imported coal-based power generation and an increased reliance on domestic supplies.

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The power ministry announced that imported coal-based power plants were required to operate at maximum capacity until September 30 to meet the increased power demand caused by high temperatures nationwide. In February, the ministry had instructed these plants to run optimally from March 16 to June 15 under Section 11 of the Electricity Act. The recent directive effectively extended this timeline by more than three months. Initially, power demand was projected to reach its peak at around 229 GW in April. However, due to changes in weather conditions, it reached 216 GW in April and 221 GW in May. Nevertheless, the rising temperatures in the last two weeks have further increased the demand. On June 9, India experienced its highest-ever peak power demand at 223 GW, although it was still lower than the projected peak. Moreover, the upcoming challenge of the monsoon season is expected to result in a decline in domestic coal production and evacuation. Imported coal-based power plants can play a crucial role during this period. Section 11 of the Electricity Act allows the government to request a generating company to operate and maintain a station according to its directions in extraordinary circumstances. This section was invoked last year as well, when power demand had surged and domestic coal supply and related supply chains were restricted. The notification was withdrawn in December, which resulted in a decrease in imported coal-based power generation and an increased reliance on domestic supplies.

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