July 20, 2009 / 2:36 PM / in 8 years

India to miss its electricity capacity goal

3 Min Read

NEW DELHI, July 20 (Reuters) - India will fail to meet its power generation growth goal, lagged far behind China in adding new capacity and remained dogged by shortages of coal for power plants, a minister told parliament on Monday.

India is likely to add only 70 percent of an estimated target of 14.5 gigawatts (GW) power capacity generation addition in the year to March 2010, junior oil minister Bharatsinh Solanki said on Monday.

In 2007/08 India produced only 77 percent of the revised target of 12 GW and last year it was only 46 percent of the targetted 7.53 GW.

"The capacity addition target for the year 2009/10 is 14.50 GW against which the achievement is expected to be over 10 GW," Solanki told parliament in a written reply.

Solanki said China on average commissioned one station of 2 GW every week, adding about 100 GW in a year but India has not been able to add 10 GW in any single year.

The minister has said India's peak power deficit is expected to widen this fiscal to 12.6 percent. [ID:nDEL448672]

Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had earlier said that projects that can produce 18.43 Gigawatts (GW) have been delayed due to delays in supply of equipment.

On Monday, Solanki said power equipment maker Bharat Heavy ELectricals Ltd(BHEL.BO) was working towards raising its capacity by 50 percent to deliver 15 GW by December.

BHEL may raise its capacity to 20 GW by 2011, he said, adding Indian companies have set joint ventures with foreign firms to produce power equipment in India.

Coal Shortages

Solanki said one of the main reasons for power shortges was lack of fuel. Some of the plants of power builder NTPC Ltd (NTPC.BO) faced coal shortages in April-June quarter, he said.

For details of the coal stock positions of NTPC's power plants as on July 14, see: [ID:nDEL334813]

NTPC would require 145-150 million tonnes of coal in the current fiscal, including 12.5 million tonnes of imports.

Coal fuels over 50 percent of India's installed power generation capacity and shortages are not new to the sector.

"It was always there. Coal production increase is also there but not to the extent required by improved generation of existing plants and capacity additions. Earlier, we used to import coal, but now prices are high," former power secretary R. V. Shahi told Reuters.

India has the fourth-largest coal resources in the world, but only about 25 percent are extractable.

Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal earlier this month said consumption would reach 604.3 million tonnes in the current fiscal year, leaving a shortfall of 70 million tonnes.

India plans to add 78.7 gigawatts (GW) of power generation during the five years ending March 2012, of which 15.1 GW has been commissioned. (Reporting by Nidhi Verma)

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