Coal supply shortages and environmental hurdles may force state-run NTPC to scale down its target for ramping up power generation capacity to 75,000 MW by 2017 to 70,000 MW.
"We would be able to do about 70,000 MW by 2017, remaining 5,000 MW looks difficult due to coal shortage and environment issues," NTPC Chairman and Managing Director Arup Roy Choudhury told reporters here.
However, he added that the 75,000 MW target is also achievable.
"We can do 75,000 MW also, but certainly we will do 70,000 MW," Choudhury said.
NTPC, which currently generates over 34,000 MW of power, had set a target for scaling up this capacity to 75,000 MW by 2017 and to further augment it to 1,28,000 MW by 2032.
The company, which requires huge funding for its upcoming and expansion projects, recently signed a Rs 10,000 crore (over USD 2 billion) loan agreement with State Bank of India
for financing its projects.
On the burning issue of coal block de-allocation by the Coal Ministry, Choudhury said, "We have approached the Power Ministry for the same and they in turn have approached the Ministry of Coal on our behalf. We are quite hopeful that they (Coal Ministry) would consider cancelling the de-allocation of those blocks."
Last month, the Ministry of Coal cancelled three coal blocks -- Chhati Bariatu (South), Chatti Bariatu in Jharkhand and Kerandari in Jharkhand -- of NTPC due to the power company's failure to develop the mines.
The Chatti Bariatu and Kerandari coal blocks in the North Karanpura coalfields in Jharkhand were allocated to NTPC in 2006 for captive use in their own specified end-use projects.
On the other hand, the Chatti Bariatu (South) coal block was given to the company in 2007.
The other two blocks that were cancelled include the Saharpur Jamarpani coal block in Jharkhand, allocated to Damodar Valley Corporation in 2007, and the Banhardih coal block given to Jharkhand State Electricity Board in 2006.