Power generation projects with investments to the tune of Rs 75,000 crore are facing a threat—an acute shortage of domestic coal. The new capacity of about 15,000 MW is likely to be stranded for want of coal. Coal India had promised to supply 92 million tonne (mt) of fuel to these projects, but it now says it can deliver only 13 mt. The available coal, which needs to be blended with imported coal before it is ready for use by generating companies, could produce barely 3,000 MW of power.
Coal India has also indicated that availability for power utilities is likely to be 319 mt only. Coal ministry maintains that production would not improve unless the environment ministry clears the hurdles for mining projects. More than 150 mining projects of Coal India with a coal production potential of 210 mt are awaiting clearance from the ministry.