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The number of Indian thermal power plants with less than seven days of coal stocks fell to 50 last week, down from 61 in early November when shortages threatened to stoke a power crisis, government data showed on Wednesday. On an average, 100 power plants had enough coal to last a week on 4 December, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) said, far below the 15-30 days the CEA sets as an operating norm.
However, cooler seasonal weather this month has reduced demand for power and eased concerns of widespread blackouts. India, which relies on coal for about three-fifths of its energy needs, is turning to increased coal imports because of insufficient domestic mining, despite the country sitting on the world's fifth-largest reserves. Twenty eight of the power stations had less than four days coal supplies on 4 December, down from 35 on 2 November, the CEA said.
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