Coal stocks at India's power plants slipped to an average of six days of power generation against a threshold of more than 20 days of their stipulated coal supply as reserve, Business Standard reported Oct. 7.
The shortage, coupled with decreased hydro and wind power generation, resulted in a rebound in power prices in the spot market. Power prices are now hovering around 5.5 Indian rupees per unit, compared to 2 to 3 rupees per unit, which prevailed earlier, the report said.
According to industry data, nearly 11,000 MW is under outage due to weaker coal supplies, which were prompted by challenges in transportation.
"The coal ministry has increased the amount to be transported by road and has urged Coal India Ltd. to use all means to increase the supply," the report quoted a government official as saying.
The official added that the state-owned coal company is expected to match the increase in coal demand, which in September rose by more than 2% from August's numbers.
In August, the country's coal inventory also dropped to just 11 days worth of power generation from 22 days a year ago, as heavy rainfalls swamped mines and flooded railway tracks and roads, leading to off-take and delivery disruptions.