Parts of northern India are staring at a severe electricity crisis with three power plants of state-owned NTPC running out of coal supplies and face an imminent shutdown if feedstock supplies don't improve.
Northern region is facing over 5,000 MW of power shortage due to coal stocks drying up.
Country's largest power producer NTPC's power stations at Sipat in Chhattisgarh and Badarpur and Jhajjar in Haryana reported zero fuel stocks on August 28, as per latest data by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
According to sources, the situation at this plant has been deteriorating from the past 10 days. The capacity of Jhajjar plant may be brought down to one-third from 1,500 MW due to non-availability of fuel.
Jhajjar plant gets coal from the Mahanadi and Northern Coalfields. The electricity from this plant is supplied to the states of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana etc.
NTPC's 705 MW Badarpur station in the state is also bearing the brunt of coal shortage and be asked to run at a lower capacity if fuel supply is further disrupted.
The company's 2,980 MW Sipat plant which has already halted power generation from one of its unit may even be forced to shut down other units.
When contacted, a Power Ministry official said, "These power stations got top priority for coal supply to avert any generation loss at least on account of coal shortage.
As per CEA data, nearly one-fourth of the country's 100 thermal power stations have less than four days of fuel stocks.
Of the 27 plants, six plants had nil fuel stocks on Thursday. Over half of the plants have less than a week's stock.
According to a report by the Northern Regional Load Despatch Centre (NRLDC), the peak power shortage in the north Indian states was 5,323 MW yesterday.
The requirement of the region shot up to 50,610 MW, of which supply was to the tune of 45,287 MW, NRLDC, an apex body to ensure integrated operation of the power system in the northern region, said in its latest report.