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India’s low coal stocks threaten electricity supply: Kemp

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LONDON — India’s energy turbines have struggled to rebuild coal shares to date this winter as a result of consumption is rising sooner than the rail community can ship extra gasoline from the mines.

Gasoline shares are solely barely larger than this time final yr, when insufficient coal provides coupled with larger than regular temperatures in March and April contributed to widespread blackouts.

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Shares at energy producers are equal to lower than 12 days of consumption, up from 9 days this time final yr however a lot leaner than 18 days in 2021 and 19 days in 2020.

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Inventories usually accumulate from October to March, when air-conditioning and refrigeration demand is decrease, and deplete from April to September, when cooling demand is excessive and mine output is disrupted by monsoon rains.

However shares have elevated by solely 2.3 days since September 2022, leaving turbines poorly positioned to fulfill larger demand when temperatures climb from March and April onwards.

Chartbook: India coal provide

Thermal technology, principally from coal, rose by 19 billion kilowatt hours or 7.3% between October and December 2022 in contrast with the identical interval in 2021.

Mine output was up by round 18 million tonnes or 9% over the identical interval. However the coal truly despatched to energy producers by the railways elevated by simply 1 million tonnes or lower than 1%.

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The variety of coal trains (rakes) despatched to energy producers averaged 258 per day between October and December 2022, insignificantly larger than 256 per day in the identical interval in 2021.

The variety of trains despatched in October was significantly low and the system proved unable to recuperate misplaced deliveries in November and December.

“Though coal provide has elevated throughout the fourth quarter, it isn’t enough to fulfill the unprecedented enhance within the demand for electrical energy,” the Ministry of Energy mentioned in a memorandum dated Jan. 9.

Equally, efforts have been made to deal with logistics constraints on the rail community, however it should take a while to resolve them absolutely, the ministry mentioned.

Because of this, the quantity of coal consumed by energy turbines has exceeded the quantity arriving from home mines by between 100,000 and 300,000 tonnes per day.

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To avert shortages, the ministry has directed turbines to import extra coal to mix with home output (“India to spice up coal imports to deal with harsh climate, freight snags”, Reuters, January 17).

Resolving railway bottlenecks and accelerating imports can be essential to making sure there’s sufficient gasoline within the pre-monsoon (March-Could) and post-monsoon (September-October) durations when energy provides are most stretched.

Associated columns:

– India’s coal and electrical energy provides are extra snug this autumn (Reuters, September 28, 2022)

– India coal shares beneath stress owing to rail bottlenecks (Reuters, Could 12, 2022)

– Beset by coal shortages, India’s energy grid struggles to fulfill demand (Reuters, October 12, 2021)

John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his personal (Modifying by Jan Harvey)


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Supply: financialpost.com

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