India considering strategic reserves for imported coal

22nd October 2021 By: Reuters

India is considering maintaining strategic reserves of natural gas and imported coal to address future supply shocks, a senior Power Ministry official said on Thursday, as the energy hungry nation battles a crippling coal shortage.

A surge in power demand combined with a fall in imports due to high global coal prices have lead to supply disruptions and power cuts lasting up to 14 hours a day, despite record supplies from state-run Coal India, the world's biggest coal miner.

Alok Kumar, India's power secretary, said countries increasingly meet their own needs first when there is a supply crunch, citing the example of Russia curtailing supplies to European nations because they wanted more gas locally.

"So let us start thinking and discussing about keeping a strategic reserve of gas and imported coal, so that economies are able to tide over these supply shocks for about a month or so," Kumar said at the South Asia Power Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry.