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India’s NTPC to Expand Coal Power Capacity as Demand Grows

Indian state-controlled utility NTPC has announced ambitious plans to issue tenders for approximately 15GW of thermal power generation capacity by March 2027. This initiative is designed to address the country’s anticipated demand growth. The new capacity will include 10.4GW in the fiscal year 2024-25, followed by 3.2GW in 2025-26, and 1.6GW in 2026-27, adding to the 9.6GW already under construction.

As of March 31, NTPC Group’s installed capacity stood at 76GW, with a strategic plan to expand to 130GW by 2030 through a combination of conventional and renewable energy sources. This expansion comes at a time when many Indian private-sector utilities, including Tata Power and JSW Energy, are transitioning from coal-fired projects to renewable energy solutions.

In parallel with the capacity increase, NTPC is also boosting its coal production to decrease dependency on external coal supplies. The company aims to increase its coal output from 34.4 million tonnes in 2023-24 to 50 million tonnes annually within three years. The move aligns with the receipt of a record 241 million tonnes of coal last year, which included 9.6 million tonnes of imported coal—a 34% decrease from the previous year.

Amidst this backdrop, the Indian government is pushing for significant enhancements in the country’s thermal power generation. The federal government’s strategy includes adding about 80GW of such capacity by 2031-32 to support the expected surge in power needs driven by rapid economic growth. The Power Ministry has emphasized the necessity of coal-based thermal capacity to ensure a reliable 24×7 power supply, stating that renewable sources alone cannot meet the burgeoning demand.

These developments are in response to the projections made in the National Electricity Plan, which forecasts a need to raise coal-fired power generation capacity from the current 211GW to 259.6GW by March 2032. This increase is deemed essential to cope with the projected peak electricity demand of 2,473.8TWh in 2031-32, with an interim target of 235.1GW by 2026-27.

Source: Argus Media