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Chhattisgarh will Not Build New Coal Power Plants - Mr Shukla

Coal News - Published on Wed, 18 Sep 2019

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Mr Shailendra Kumar Shukla, chairman of Chhattisgarh State Power Distribution Company, a state-owned utility, told Quartz India that the future of coal in India may not be as bright as some previously assumed. The central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, home to the country’s third-largest coal reserves, will not build any new coal power plants. This comes only days after the government in the western state of Gujarat announced it will not give permission to build new coal power plants. Neither state, however, has made the decision permanent via legislation.

First, Chhattisgarh already has a large number of coal plants that meet a vast majority of the state’s electricity demand and also export to other states. These plants are under-used, though, which means any future increase in the state’s power demand could be easily met.

The state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation is building a 1,600 MW coal-fired power plant in Raigarh district, where half the capacity is committed to meet Chhattisgarh’s needs. Mr Shukla said this would be the last such plant to be built in the state.

Second, falling costs of solar power and the state’s responsibility to contribute to the ambitious national goal to build renewable power plants mean that Chhattisgarh is likely to rely on using solar to fill up any excess demand.

Mr Shukla said that Chhattisgarh’s decision will likely hit the coal industry harder than Gujarat’s move because the former has 16% of India’s total coal reserves. Coal power plants in Chhattisgarh offer cheap electricity, thanks to the low cost of transporting coal from the mine to the power plant lower costs. The state’s power requirement is about 4,500 MW. Power plants located in Chhattisgarh have the capacity to produce more than 20,000 MW of power.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Wed, 18 Sep 2019
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