Indian Power Ministry warns of coal shortage

2 November 2004 – India’s Power Ministry has warned of a massive coal shortage, which could cause a major crisis in the power sector.

In spite of the additional 41 000 MW included in the Tenth Plan, the Ministry said in a presentation to the Planning Commission, “There will be a crisis at the end of the Tenth Plan when full capacity target is achieved, as the gap between demand and supply could be over 50m tonnes.”

It was forecast that many new power plants may not get coal supply and that on average, 11m tonnes of coal would have to be imported by power utilities every year.

In January and February of this year, India lost 226m units of electricity due to coal shortages. The Ministry has said that this was a direct result of coal consumption during the last three years exceeding supply targets, thus leading to depletion of stocks.