India faced highest power shortage in last 3 months

State-owned NTPC had warned in July that coal supply for six of its plants were at a 'critical level'.

New Delhi | Published: August 2, 2014 10:20:12 am


The Indian power sector witnessed the highest shortage in the past three months, including the peak summer month of May, owing to a late monsoon and fuel supply issues.


Data from the National Load Dispatch Center for the month of July shows that the country faced a shortage of 5,409 million units (MUs) compared with 3,907 MUs for June and 4,557 MUs for May 2014.


Data from Indian Energy Exchange (IEX), a power trading platform, showed that 2.3 billion units(BUs) was traded at an average market clearing price of


Rs 3.76 per unit, which is lower than the June price of Rs 3.89 per unit, but still trumps May figure of Rs 3.28 per unit.


A senior official in IEX said that there was a significant demand in month of July however, it demand does not materialise if there are no sellers.


“In the last two months, hydro-power producers were not coming to market due to low level of water in reservoirs owing to a harsh summer. Similarly, the wind season faced fluctuations and thermal power plants did not have sufficient fuel supply,” the official said.


State-owned thermal power producer NTPC Ltd had warned in July that coal supply for six of its plants were at a “critical level,” according to Reuters. The company had said that the plants, which among themselves have a combined generation capacity of 16,840 MW which equals 15% of India’s thermal power capacity, had enough fuel supplies to last two days.


The monsoon season was also delayed by over a month this year, exacerbating the low water-levels in dams. The meteorological department said that monsoon is yet to normalize with rainfall at 15% below average levels in the second week of July. The first week of July saw rains which were 41% below the average levels.


The official added that there were no transmission issues in July, except for the southern corridor, which usually hampers trade.


“The quantum of units sold was less than usual and power producers also did not enter the market to sell, deviating from the usual trend,” the official said.

– fe Bureau | Financial Express

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