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Country's largest power producer NTPC may not be able to add at least 12,500 MW of generation capacity, if the coal supply issues are not resolved in the next couple of months, a top company official said.
Faced with non-availability of gas for its envisaged plants, the state-run power producer has already scaled down its target of having 70,000 MW generation capacity by the end of the current Plan period (2012-17) to 65,000 MW.
"We would not be able to add at least 12,500 MW capacity by 2017 if the coal issue is not resolved in the next couple of months, because we are already in the 12th Plan," NTPC Chairman and Managing Director Arup Roy Choudhury told PTI in an interview.
With acute coal shortages hurting even the existing generation, NTPC might be forced to bring down the target to little over 50,000 MW for the current Plan period.
The company has an installed generation capacity of 37,514 MW, including coal and gas-fired projects among others, which it had initially planned to raise to 70,000 MW by 2017.
"Now, we are rethinking on capacity addition for the next five years. If I am not getting coal, why should I spent money and set up capacity," Choudhury said.
"Our capacity addition target for 12th Plan is around 65,000 MW. Out of that, there is about 1,300 MW hydro projects," he added.
He said current coal sector issues are hurting the company.
"We could have generated eight billion units more of electricity last year. Around 7.8 billion units (of power generation ) that was lost... it would be around 4.5 per cent (of total generation)," he noted.
To bridge the gap of fuel availability, NTPC may also import up to 14 million tonnes of coal in the current financial year.
"Our imported coal requirement for this fiscal would be 12 to 14 million tonnes depending on requirement. Last fiscal, we imported 12 million tonnes," Choudhury said.
Stressing that the country has enough coal reserves, he said that production should be ramped up.
Further, Choudhury pointed out that domestic coal cannot be priced equivalent to international coal.
"It never happens anywhere in the world that they charge domestic resources for internal purposes at international prices," he added.
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