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State-run NTPC, the country's biggest thermal power generator, will not make any coal imports this year as it has been assured of adequate supplies by Coal India. NTPC has been relying on imported coal for the past 10 years to meet its needs.
"Towards the beginning of 2015-16, NTPC was planning to import around 21 million tonne of coal, which was later scaled down to 16 million. However, following more than adequate supplies from Coal India, the company deferred its coal imports for the year and received far less than the initial planned volume," a senior NTPC executive said on condition of anonymity.
According to some officials, NTPC imported only 9.47 million tonne of coal in the last fiscal year, a drop of 42% over the previous fiscal.
Going forward, NTPC may not need to import any coal because its captive mine, Pakri Barwadih, is scheduled to commence production in the next few months. However, some of the orders placed during the beginning of 2015-16 will get delivered this year although no fresh orders would be placed this year.
"The company's efforts during second half of FY16 as a result of rationalization of coal linkages, reduction in imported coal consumption, enforcement of third-party sampling of coal and other measures led to reduction in energy charges of coal stations by nearly 20%," another senior NTPC executive said. "NTPC shall endeavour to bring down the energy charges further to help the discoms."
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