New Delhi: At a time when the country is embarking on ambitious power generation programmes, the shortage of coal is expected to impact new capacity addition plans to the tune of 15,000 MW in the current fiscal.
    
A parliamentary panel has said that coal availability for power plants designed to run on indigenous coal would be only 417.5 MT in the current fiscal, as against the requirement of 480 MT.
    
Out of the total, 319 MT would be supplied by Coal India.

“The Ministry of Power has stated that against the earlier indication by Coal India for supplying 360 MT of coal, it will now supply 319 MT to power sector.”
    
"The ministry has further stated that the reduction of 41 MT of coal by Coal India would affect the new generating capacity to the extent of 15,000 MW," the Standing Committee on Energy has said in its report.
    
For 2011-12, the capacity addition target has been set at 17,600 MW, including 2,000 MW from nuclear power generation.
    
Non-availability of fuel and environmental hurdles are among the major factors adversely impacting the capacity generation targets. India has a peak power shortage of about 13 per cent.
    
Even with 17,600 MW of new capacity addition in the current fiscal, the country would see only an addition of little over 52,000 MW during the 11th Plan period (2007-12), much lower than the revised target of 62,374 MW.
   
The panel, chaired by Mulayam Singh Yadav, has said Coal India should give first priority to the power sector in coal allocation.
    
Regarding fuel linkage issues, the report noted that a long-term solution should be worked out in the Group of Ministers' meetings or through "international economic tie-up/cooperation".
    
The Power Ministry expects to see the capacity addition of over 80,000 MW in the 12th plan period (2012-17).

(Agencies)