India has asked utilities and private companies to ensure the delivery of 19 million tonnes of coal from abroad by the end of June, according to a letter from the Ministry of Energy, reflecting the urgency of securing supplies in a costly market in amidst ever-increasing blackouts.
The move, which is the first time the world’s second-largest coal importer has set deadlines for imports, could put pressure on global coal prices as utilities battle a repeat of the coal crisis at Power in april.
If the deadlines are met, imports by states and private utilities over the next five months to be combined with domestic coal will exceed the companies’ annual imports by at least six years.
An unrelenting heat wave pushed electricity demand to a record level in April, triggering the worst energy crisis in more than six years and forcing India to reverse its policy of cutting coal imports.
The federal government has asked state utilities to import more than 22 million tons of coal and private power plants to import 15.94 million tons, the Energy Department said in a letter verified by Reuters.
The Secretary of Energy has requested all public service companies to deliver 50% of the allocated amount by June 30, another 40% by the end of August and the remaining 10% by the end of October, the letter to senior officials of the state Secretary of Energy and heads of said private power plants.
State utilities imported no more than 7.1 million tons for blending and private companies no more than 13.1 million tons for at least the year ending March 2017. Data prior to the year ending March of 2017 are not available.
The Federal Energy Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Utilities are not required to comply with the federal government’s guidelines, but two government officials who attended meetings related to the surge in electricity demand said states were notified of cutoffs if proposed amounts were not imported. . States and private companies “should” “import” coal and “guarantee a continuous supply of electricity to the respective states,” the letter said.
“In order to ensure the required minimum coal stocks in power plants before the start of the monsoon, it is necessary that the placement of premiums for the import of coal for blending purposes be completed before May 31, 2022,” said the ministry in a statement. letter dated April 28.
Private companies including Adani Power, Tata Power, Reliance Power, Jindal Steel and Power, Torrent Power and Sembcorp have received import targets, according to the letter. The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
“All state power generation companies and independent power plants are required to submit a weekly report from the management information system to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and the Department of Energy every Friday on port withdrawals made, arrivals and deliveries of imported coal. power plants,” the letter said.