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India Asks Coal Plants to Run Flat Out to Ease Power Crisis

  • Government invokes rare provisions amid widespread blackouts
  • Decision impacts power producers using expensive imported coal
A motorcyclist drives past chimneys and a cooling tower at a coal-fired power plant in the outskirts of Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India.

A motorcyclist drives past chimneys and a cooling tower at a coal-fired power plant in the outskirts of Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India.

Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg
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India’s government ordered coal-fired power plants that run on imported fuel to operate at full capacity to address an escalating energy crisis that’s threatening economic growth.

The government took the unusual step of invoking a little-used provision in electricity laws to bridge a supply deficit that’s causing widespread blackouts. The order is valid until Oct. 31, the power ministry said in a letter posted on its website.