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Coal Production Surges By 83% At India’s Largest Power Firm

India’s state power giant NTPC Ltd reported on Tuesday an 83% jump in coal production from the mines it operates in the first half of the 2023/24 fiscal year as India continues to rely on coal to meet most of its electricity demand.   

Coal still generates around 70% of the country’s electricity. NTPC, with a current installed power generation capacity from all sources of more than 73 gigawatts (GW), is the largest integrated power company. 

In the first half of the fiscal year 2023/2024, between April and September, NTPC also saw coal dispatch for the period soar by 94%, Indian media report, citing the company’s first-half and Q2 figures. 

NTPC also boosted its coal production by 66% in the second quarter of its fiscal year, compared to the period between July and September in 2022.

In September 2023 alone, the company’s coal production surged by 80% and coal dispatch jumped by 106% year-on-year. 

During the whole previous fiscal year between April 2022 and March 2023, NTPC’s coal production soared by 65%, Gurdeep Singh, chairman and managing director, told the annual general meeting in August 2023. 

India had anticipated that its power generation from coal would increase in the current year as authorities plan to have coal-fired units maximize electricity production from imported coal to meet rising demand.

Early this year, India’s government expected coal-fired power plants to use 8% more coal in the financial year between March 2023 and March 2024, as demand is set to continue rising thanks to growing economic activity and unpredictable weather.

Last year NTPC said it could increase its coal-generation capacity as it prioritizes energy security after the power outages in the spring of 2022.

The coal phase-out in India is “going to take 2-3 decades, if not more,” NTPC’s chairman Gurdeep Singh said at the time.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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