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India's excess power capacity an aberration, should export: Minister

New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) The excess power capacity in India is an aberration in a situation where large parts of the country are yet to get electricity, Power Minister R.K Singh said on Tuesday.

Adressing the Indian Power Stations conference here, he also said that India can explore export of power to neighbouring countries such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh, which were viable markets for export of power as the per unit cost of electricity was very high in these areas.

"If you look at the entire power sector, the demand has been suppressed because not everyone is connected.

"We have just started taking-off and are going to enter double digit growth. What we see as excess capacity today may not turn out to be enough if we unlock that demand," he said.

The minister also said the rise in power demand will lead to an increase in demand for coal, for which India needs to be prepared.

"The unlocking of demand will come but with some constraints. We don't have a shortage of coal but we need to put in place mechanisms to get coal from underground to over ground and then to the power stations," he said.

The Minister said that state-run generator NTPC, earlier known as National Thermal Power Corp, must aim to become the biggest power producer globally.

"Globally, NTPC is currently ranked 12th in terms of power generation. But in my view, NTPC hasn't reached its limit.

"Why can't NTPC set up power plants in other nations and why can't the company emerge as our multinational? Why can't NTPC become world's largest power generator," he asked.

In this connection, Singh said that neighbouring countries such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh were viable markets for power and the government is looking at sending teams to these countries to assess the demand.

--IANS

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