Centre asks NTPC, Tata Power to reduce coal imports, suggests sourcing domestic fuel


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Thermal power plants exhorted to import coal for blending purposes, if requisite quantity and quality of domestic coal is not made available

Centre asks generating companies to reduce coal import, source domestic fuel. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: The Centre has asked generating companies, including NTPC, Tata Power, Reliance Power to reduce the import of dry-fuel for blending purposes and replace it with domestic coal, an official said.

The development assumes significance in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday giving directions to target thermal coal import substitution, particularly when a huge coal stock inventory is available in the country this year.

"All the generating companies (Gencos) who are importing coal for blending purposes may make best efforts to replace their imports with domestic coal," an official said.

The government also said that in case the generating companies find difficulty in getting the requisite quantity and quality of coal from the coal companies or logistics bottleneck the matter may be brought in the knowledge of the Centre.

The matter will be taken up with the appropriate institution so that the problem can be resolved, the official said.

Thermal power plants have been exhorted to import coal for blending purposes, if and only if, the requisite quantity and quality of domestic coal is not made available, the official said.

On one hand, the country has more than enough coal stock while on the other hand it is grappling with falling power demand due to coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi had last month written to state chief ministers asking them not to import dry-fuel and take domestic supply of fuel from state-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL), which has the fossil fuel in abundance.

In a bid to give a boost to coal demand hit by the ongoing lockdown, the government has also announced a slew of measures like increased dry-fuel supply for linkage consumers.

Joshi had also announced several relief measures for CIL consumers, including the power sector, in the wake of situation arising from coronavirus.

The ministry also approved relaxation in quantity of coal for linkage consumer