Government asks regulator to allow utility companies to import 30% of coal

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India has asked its Federal Electricity Controller to allow power generators to import up to 30% of the country’s coal needs until March a year from now, a ministry letter says of Energy consulted by Reuters. India had asked the utilities to import 10% of its total requirement, or about 38 million tonnes, to mix with local coal as demand was overwhelming, adding that transport of 19 million tonnes had to be secured from by the end of June.

The demand to allow more imported coal reflects the severity of the domestic shortage, which has caused the country’s worst power cuts in more than six years as a heat wave bakes large swaths of South Asia.

However, in a May 18 letter to the Secretary of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), a Federal Ministry of Energy official, citing a “public interest” provision in India’s electricity law electricity, said it was “imperative” that power generators be allowed to use more imported electricity. coal.

“In the public interest, CERC is hereby requested to immediately authorize the higher amount of blending up to 30% with imported coal in accordance with the decision of the Ministry of Energy, without consultation with the beneficiaries until 31 March,” the letter read. .

Department of Energy official says CERC denied import permission to some state government-run utilities because the amount could potentially violate rules that prevent generators from mixing coal imported beyond a certain extent without the consent of the beneficiaries.

It was not immediately clear whether the beneficiaries referred to electricity distribution companies or end consumers. The Department of Energy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“There is an urgent need to save domestic coal to build up reasonable coal stocks at power stations ahead of the monsoon,” the official said in the letter, adding that power station stocks were running out at a “worrying” rate. .

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  • Government asks regulator to allow utility companies to import 30% of coal
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