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India to Import Coal as Power Demand Rises Amid Chilly Winter

© AP Photo / Ajit SolankiA woman works at a coal depot in Ahmedabad, India, Monday, May 2, 2022.
A woman works at a coal depot in Ahmedabad, India, Monday, May 2, 2022. - Sputnik India, 1920, 09.01.2023
India's winter electricity demand reached a record high this year, surpassing the summer months' peak of 200 gigawatts.
Delhi has instructed utility companies to import 6% of their coal needs by September, according to a communique issued by the power ministry on Monday.
In the directive, the Ministry of Power warned that domestic coal supplies may be limited if these import targets are not met.

“Due to a recent surge in demand and consumption of electricity, the share of coal-based generation has increased. Although the supply of coal from all sources has increased, it is not commensurate with the requirements of thermal power plants,” the letter read.

India expects to have a domestic coal supply of 392 million tonnes between April-September, but anticipates a deficit of 24 million tonnes relative to demand.
It is noted that the shortfall between the daily coal consumption and arrival of domestic coal is ranging from 300,000 to 100,000 tonnes per day.
“This shortfall is made up by blending with imported coal,” the ministry added.
The ministry has also ramped up efforts to address the constraints in the transportation of coal through all modes.
India's national average peak electricity demand hit a record high of over 200 gigawatts in the final week of December 2022, continuing into 2023. This marks a 15 percent increase from the average demand of 175 gigawatts of mid-December.
Coal is the primary source of power generation in India, with coal-fired plants accounting for more than 75% of the country's coal usage.