Despite a projected 4% increase in coal-fired power generation in 2017-18, India's thermal power generation is expected to plummet in the coming years. According to The Economic Times, India's Central Electricity Authority (CEA) estimates, coal-based thermal power plants should expect a sharp decline in capacity utilization. By 2022, many thermal power plants may have to be kept idle for lack of demand.

Industrial Info is tracking more than $83 million in active, thermal-related projects in India.

“These plants are designed to run at very high-capacity utilization--around 85%," the CEA is quoted as saying. "When they run much below full load, it consumes more coal, leading to under-recovery of energy charges, as regulations do not provide for this.”

The CEA suggests that regulatory intervention should allow owners of thermal plants to recoup their investments, so customers are not unnecessarily burdened with high tariffs, according to The Economic Times.

Two of the largest thermal projects under construction are Neyveli Uttar Pradesh Power Limited's $2.6 billion Ghatampur Thermal Power Station in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, and NTPC Limited's $1.44 billion Solapur Thermal Power Station in Solapur, Maharashtra. The 1,980-megawatt (MW) Ghatampur project began construction in fourth-quarter 2016 and is expected to wrap up in the second half of 2021; the 1,320-MW Solapur project kicked off in mid-2012 and is expected to wrap up in the second half of 2017. For more information, see Industrial Info's project reports on the Ghatampur and Solapur projects.

One of the largest proposed projects is the Tamilnadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited's Udangudi Thermal Power Station in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, which would involve a $1.6 billion first phase and a $1.6 billion second phase, each with a capacity of 1,320 MW. The company originally planned a 1,600-MW station in the first phase with two 800-MW steam turbine generator sets; the 1,320-MW first phase would now feature two 660-MW sets that would run completely on imported coal. For more information, see Industrial Info's project reports on Phase I and Phase II.

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