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Indian utility NTPC ups coal output, seeks to boost stocks

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·1 min read
A signboard of NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation Limited) is seen outside its office in Mumbai
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  • CL=F
  • NTPC.NS
  • COALINDIA.NS

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's biggest utility NTPC Ltd is ramping up coal output from its mines and importing 270,000 tonnes of the fossil fuel under existing contracts, as it seeks to boost stocks at its plants and meet rising electricity demand.

India's power demand has rebounded in recent months, reflecting an increase in economic activity as COVID-19 restrictions are eased. The increased consumption coincided with the monsoon season, when rains affected coal supplies.

In July, India's peak power demand hit 200,570 megawatt (MW), 17.6% more than a year earlier, a government statement said earlier this month.

Plants accounting for about 92,417 MW capacity, about 45% of the country's coal-fired generation, have coal stocks below eight days, the latest government data shows.

NTPC said it is coordinating with producer Coal India and railways to increase fuel supply to power stations and has started its 800-MW power plant in eastern Odisha state to meet the rising demand.

India has decided to regulate coal supply to stations with coal inventory of more than 15 days to free up around 177,000 tonnes of the fuel for plants with low stocks, a government statement said on Sunday.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; editing by Barbara Lewis)