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No coal shortages for power plants in India: minister

New Delhi — There are no power plants in India currently facing coal shortages due to an increase in domestic coal output, Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said Friday.

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"Today, not a single power plant faces a shortage of coal," Goyal was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the ministry.

Goyal also made reference to the power crisis of 2014 when two-thirds of major power plants had critical coal stocks of less than seven days.

The government has completely eliminated coal shortages in the country, the minister said.

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In line with achieving the target of doubling coal production to 1 billion mt by 2020, the last two years saw the highest ever growth in coal production of 74 million mt, he said.

As of May 18, not a single coal-based power plant of the 100 plants monitored by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has a coal deficit. A year ago 11 plants had coal stocks of less than seven days.

On May 18, 2014, 43 power plants had less than seven days of coal stocks, according to CEA data.

Indian state-run Coal India Limited (CIL), which accounts for over 80% of the country's domestic coal production, produced 536 million mt of coal during the last fiscal year that ended March 31 against a target of 550 million mt, registering a growth of 8.5% year on year.

At present around 50 million mt of coal stocks are lying at various CIL coal mines, according to sources. For the current fiscal year, CIL has a target of 598.60 million mt. Of this, around 540 million mt will be supplied to power utilities.

Last fiscal year, around 409 million mt of coal was supplied to power utilities.

--Sapna Dogra, newsdesk@platts.com --Edited by Jonathan Fox, jonathan.fox@spglobal.com