NEW DELHI, Oct 25 (Reuters) – India has extended by eight months the operation of power plants using imported coal, as high consumption and poor supply deplete domestic stocks of the fuel, according to a government order reviewed by Reuters.
The order invoked emergency powers in asking such plants, with a capacity of nearly 17 gigawatts, to operate so as to meet high demand for electricity until next June.
“It is imperative that … power from imported coal-based generating stations is available to meet demand,” the government said in Monday’s order.
It cited a surge in demand for electricity, inadequate domestic coal supply and limited hydropower.
The extension came as worries mount over shrinking coal stocks at power plants, where inventories fell in the first half of October at their fastest in two years.