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Power crisis: Govt mulls changes in normative coal stock requirement for TPPs, say sources

The government is considering relaxing the normative coal stocking norms for thermal power plants (TPPs), two sources aware of the matter told PSU Watch
Power crisis: Govt mulls changes in normative coal stock requirement for TPPs, say sources
Power crisis: Govt mulls changes in normative coal stock requirement for TPPs, say sources
  • According to a draft document being discussed, the Centre is considering lowering the normative coal stock requirement to 10 days for pithead TPPs
  • The CEA is expected to come up with the revised norms soon, said the sources

New Delhi: In order to ensure better distribution of coal amidst power generators in tandem with the demand graph and to avert a power crisis in the future, the government is considering relaxing the normative coal stocking norms for thermal power plants (TPPs), two sources aware of the matter told PSU Watch. Currently, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) mandates TPPs to hold uniform coal stocks sufficient for generating power for 20-22 days. Under the new proposal, the ministry is mulling different norms for summer and winter months, said the sources.

Normative coal stock norms: Changes being proposed

According to a draft document being discussed, the Centre is considering lowering the normative coal stock requirement to 10 days for pithead TPPs, which are close to coal mines, and 20 days for power plants that are far away from coal-bearing areas. For summer months, when India witnesses a rise in power demand, the new norms may require non-pithead TPPs to have coal inventories sufficient for 22 days of power generation and pithead plants to have stocks for 12 days. The CEA is expected to come up with the revised norms soon, said the sources.

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Why is government considering changes?

According to sources, the government feels that a flexible normative coal stock requirement in accordance with seasons will give power generators some leeway while ensuring an equitable availability of coal during the points of time in a year when India registers peak demands. The government is also considering incentives for TPPs for maintaining the normative coal stock requirement. “There should be a system of incentives/ disincentives for keeping the coal stocks as per mandatory limit/ lower than mandatory limit. As during the months of monsoon the supply of coal gets affected, TPPs may be suitably incentivised for ramping up coal stocks prior to onset of monsoon. The ‘incentive’ to TPPs would be in terms of priority in loading from desired mine and supply of crushed coal,” the Ministry of Power had said earlier.

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