More than 50 thermal power stations in the country are facing acute fuel shortage with less than a week's stock available with them, according to the Central Electricity Authority data.
As many as 52 power stations have critical coal stock position -- stocks that would last less than seven days, the latest CEA data showed.
Of these, 35 coal-based plants have fuel stocks for less than four days, CEA said, adding that there are 24 projects which have received less coal from Coal India Ltd (CIL) and its subsidiaries.
The situation has worsened from last month when 47 power stations suffered critical scarcity of fuel stocks.
According to another CEA data, there was a peak power deficit -- shortfall in generation capacity during the time when electricity consumption is at the maximum -- of 9 per cent or 12,159 MW in the first six months (April-September) of the current financial year, mainly due to scarce fuel supply.
Last month, Prime Minister's Office (PMO) directed CIL to sign Fuel Supply Agreements (FSAs) with power companies even in the absence of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).
It was decided during the meeting that FSAs can be signed with power companies having long-term and medium term PPAs based on confirmation from the Power Ministry that it is benefitting consumers.
Even those power producers who have not signed a PPA with any electricity distribution company, can sign the FSA but they will be required to produce the PPA before lifting coal.