Coal stocks in India fell to their lowest level in nearly three years, putting more than half of the country’s coal-fired generating capacity at risk of outages.
Heavy rains in India’s largest mining regions are worsening the country’s coal supply crisis. Flooded mines and flooded roads have slowed operations at Coal India Ltd.’s mines, according to technical director Binay Dayal, obstructing supplies to power plants. That has raised fuel reserves to 9.3 million tons, the lowest level since October 2018, data from the Central Electricity Authority shows.
Fossil fuel produces nearly 70 percent of India’s electricity and the crisis has been compounded by high coal prices abroad, leading to some large power plants burning primarily imported coal to idle much of it. of its ability to reduce losses.
The decline in supplies also comes at a time when electricity consumption has been unusually strong, driven by a revival in economic activity. Energy use increased 10 percent in July and 18 percent in August, an unusual increase during these rainy months when construction activity slows and milder weather cools demand.
Coal reserves at power plants have declined 73 percent over the past year, leaving nearly 121 gigawatts of generating capacity with reserves of a week or less through Sept. 21, according to government data.