Coal hike slows 4 GW Indian power plant projects

Indian power projects totalling 4 GW are being held up as developers await the expiry of sales contracts concluded before coal prices surged, says Reuters.

Global coal prices have soared and Indonesia’s government has regulated export prices since Tata Power, Reliance Power and Adani Power won contracts in 2006 to supply power at fixed tariffs of less than 2.3 rupees ($0.05) /kWh.

Construction on the plants has now almost halted as the firms ask authorities to pass on their raised costs for coal, up from less than $50 a tonne CIF in 2006 to more than $120 today.

India’s annual coal imports are forecast to hit 150 million tonnes within a few years, with much fuelling low-grade coal for the so-called Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPPs). India is likely to import around 70 million tonnes in 2011, say importers.

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