Global Coal Crisis Triggers Power Crunch in India

India is the latest country to scramble to secure its power supply as coal inventories hit severe lows amid energy shortages in other parts of the world.

Coal stocks in India hit perilous lows last week, with all its 135 power plants stocked with only four days worth of coal, according to the country’s Central Electricity Authority.

Only one Indian power plant has about seven days of coal stock left, and 70 percent of India’s electricity is powered by coal.

In a bid to make India economically self-reliant, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration cut down coal imports in the recent months to lessen the negative impacts of surging prices caused by the pandemic.

The cutting of imports put pressure on India’s local coal miners to ramp up output, but heavy September rains in mining areas curtailed production and suppliers failed to meet stockpile requirements.

Global demand and tightening supply has been pushing up fuel prices, with major power crises in China and Europe threatening to leave less fuel for the rest of the world.

China — the world’s second-largest economy — has been looking to expand coal suppliers from major exporters like South Africa, Colombia, and the United States, which are also some of Europe and India’s top importers.

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