India asks power firms to import coal to meet increasing electricity demand

India asked power manufacturers to keep importing coal to meet increasing demand for electricity even as prices of the fossil fuel surged.

The power companies need to resolve issues related to rising prices and stick to the power-purchase agreement, the Ministry of Power said in a statement on Saturday.

“Not maintaining adequate fuel stocks or not giving availability on any pretext (such as high price of imported coal etc.) is inexcusable, the government said.

Key coal prices hit record levels in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as utilities in Europe, along with other major consumers, hunt for alternatives to cargoes from Russia.

The fossil fuel contributes nearly 70 percent percent of India’s electricity supply and most Indian power producers import the dirty fuel to blend with local coal to generate electricity.

“It is requested that necessary action may be taken to import coal in transparent and competitive manner for blending purpose based on demand assessment and to deal with any shortfall of coal availability,” the government said.

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