India’s installed capacity for power generation has also seen a tremendous rise, standing at 405.77 GW. What is also readily observable is the dominant share of coal in the installed capacity equalling 204 GW, and is likely to retain its leading position in meeting the country’s power demand, with demand for coal in power projections, by the Ministry of Coal, estimate it to increase to 1,034 MTs in 2029-30, an increase of 47.71% from 2021-22.
These figures are followed by many coal-fired thermal power plants, above 1000 MW, being developed across the country between 2005 and 2022, both by the public and private sector, which are being financed, using various debt instruments, by various domestic and international financial institutions. Given the sizeable amounts of loans flowing in to finance the development of these large-scale projects, it is crucial to identify the various financial institutions and the quantum of loans for these projects for public awareness and form the first steps to build an accountability mechanism in coal project financing, since such information concealed, due to lack of transparency and astute use of fiduciary relationship between bank and client, and kept away from public scrutiny. Commercial databases, where investment is recorded in real-time, are prohibitively expensive for researchers and public.
As our committed engagement towards financial accountability in projects across the spectrum of infrastructure and energy, this CFA report strives to unveil such financial information to encourage more public awareness and discourse in who finances such large-scale projects and the feasibility of such loans, keeping in mind not only the project particulars such as efficiency and requirement but also the environmental and social impacts that accompany such projects – as the country aims to phase down fossils fuels in terms of its declining share in the overall fuel mix, and various financial institutions pledge to discontinue financing coal.
Read and download the report here: The Coal Trail: Tracking Investments in Coal Fired Thermal Power Plants in India.
Centre for Financial Accountability is now on Telegram. Click here to join our Telegram channel and stay tuned to the latest updates and insights on the economy and finance.