In international news, reporting a surplus generation capacity for the first time in eight years, India is encouraging domestic power producers to seek opportunities beyond Indian borders.
In a recent interview, Indian Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said that the Indian government is promoting the idea that state-run power producers build plants overseas, Bloomberg Markets reported.
Goyal said: “State-run generators NTPC Ltd and NLC India Ltd as well as private producers can explore opportunities in India’s neighbouring countries and beyond.”
According to Bloomberg Markets, India’s largest generation company, NTPC, is in the process of developing a 1,320MW coal-based power project in Bangladesh with a Sri Lanka project in the pipeline.
India ventures into Africa
Adding that Indian private producer, Tata Power Co. Ltd, has already concluded three renewable power projects in South Africa and Zambia, two wind projects and one hydro project respectively.
In an interview with Bloomberg Markets, NTPC’s projects director, S.C. Pandey, said: “We have nothing beyond Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on our international agenda at the moment, but if you’re asking where the opportunities could be available, it will be Africa.
He noted: “They have coal and the demand is increasing.”
What about coal?
“India’s coal-based power plants used 60.9% of their capacity in June, according to the power ministry’s Central Electricity Authority. Plants operated by private companies and provincial governments reported an even lower utilisation rate,” Bloomberg Markets reported.
The global news portal added: “That has led to stockpiling of coal, which helps produce more than three-fourths of India’s electricity. Coal India Ltd., which accounts for more than 80% of India’s output, is also seeking markets to export the commodity.”
“I don’t think it will have a big market internationally,” Goyal said.
He added: “Still, I have asked my people to start studying if we can export to some of the less-privileged or lesser-developed nations.”