Recently, TPPs across India experienced an acute coal shortage. The shortage was also felt throughout the Asian subcontinent. Many internal and external factors have contributed to the situation and are under investigation. Stakeholders have identified some of the most common causes of this situation.
Power demand in India started reducing during the lockdowns imposed to manage the Covid-19 pandemic, especially the demand from commercial consumers. As the lockdowns continued, the load on TPPs remained low and resulted in low coal consumption rates. However, from July 2021, most of the Covid-19 restrictions were revoked across India, and commercial and industrial activities started recovering rapidly. The overall power demand recovered to the pre-Covid levels and even crossed it. TPPs were not expecting this sudden increase in power demand. The low coal inventory available at plant locations aggravated the problem.
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