At around 3 pm on Wednesday, India’s daily peak power demand touched 220 gigawatts (Gw)–the highest daily peak ever in the history of the country.
The ministry of power in its estimates had projected country’s power demand to cross touch 220 Gw during the months of April-June.
With a cooler April due to unseasonal rains, the peak shifted to May.
As temperatures soar across the country, it is expected, the peak demand is likely to cross the 220 Gw mark as well, unless the monsoon sets in early or pre-monsoon showers give a respite.
The Centre had made projections for the coal demand scenario and grid preparedness keeping in mind the 220 Gw peak this summer.
According to government data, the total coal requirement to run the historic high power demand will be 222 million tonnes (MT) during April-June 2023 as thermal power will drive the supply.
The likely availability of domestic coal was expected to be around 201 MT by the Ministry of Power earlier this year as against demand of 222 MT. This shortfall is translating to a 100,000-300,000-tonne daily deficit in the supply of domestic coal.
Considering the same, the ministry of power in January this year directed all power generating companies (gencos) to mandatorily import coal up to 6 per cent of their total requirement.
Close to 6 states, and Central PSU NTPC Ltd have already placed imported coal tenders.
But thanks to the respite during April, domestic coal build up is healthy.
The current daily (average) stock at the thermal units stands at 32 MT (including both domestic and imported).
This translates to 13 days of coal stock at the end of the power units.
Country’s largest power generator NTPC has a coal stock of 12-15 days currently, said an executive.