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CIL augmenting coal supplies to power plants on war footing: Director Marketing

CIL has taken up the task of augmenting coal supplies to power utilities of the country on war footing to rein in low coal stocks, said a top official of the state-run miner
CIL augmenting coal supplies to power plants on war footing: Director Marketing
CIL augmenting coal supplies to power plants on war footing: Director Marketing
  • For the past three days, the company has pushed up its coal supplies to thermal power plants to 1.4 MT per day
  • Despatches to coal-fired power plants October onwards are aimed at 1.5 MT per day going beyond 1.6 MT in due course

New Delhi: Coal India Limited (CIL) has taken up the task of augmenting coal supplies to power utilities of the country on war footing to rein in low coal stocks and the company is planning to ramp it up further to 1.6 Million Tonnes (MT) by October, said a top official of the state-run miner on Wednesday. “CIL has taken this up on a mission mode. Availability of coal and subsequent supplies will be ramped up. Despatches to coal-fired power plants October onwards are aimed at 1.5 MT per day going beyond 1.6 MT in due course,” said SN Tiwary, Director (Marketing) of CIL. With this, normalcy could be expected soon. 

For the past three days, the company has pushed up its coal supplies to thermal power plants to 1.4 MT per day.

CIL’s coal supplies at 243 MT in Apr-Sept period

Despite challenges posed by monsoon and the non-payment of outstanding dues, CIL has supplied 243 MT of coal to power utilities during April-September so far (until September 28), which is an all-time high recorded for this timeframe for any year. Compared to around 196 MT supplied to power utilities during the same period previous fiscal, the company has registered a strong 24 percent growth with an increase of 47 MTs in volume terms. Compared to the Covid-free period of April-September 2019, when coal supplies stood at 218 MT, the growth was over 11 percent. 

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Why are power plants facing low coal stock crisis?

The sudden spike in power generation in the second week of August triggered an increased appetite for coal. As a result, coal demand outpaced the supplies, leading to a depletion of stocks at thermal power plants. Had the power utilities maintained the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) prescribed normative stock of 22 days, the low coal stock situation could have been averted.  

The recent pickup in coal demand is linked to several other reasons as well. Primarily, imported coal-based power plants were working at low capacity curtailing their generation due to an increase in the price of imported coal and its shipping rates. This has resulted in a demand shift to the domestic coal-fired power plants. The fact that they have regulated their coal intake further exacerbated the situation. 

Coal stocks were at a comfortable level of 28.4 MT at the beginning of the fiscal and even at the end of July, coal stock at power utilities was 24 MT, which is at par with the previous five-year average for the said period. It was in August that stock at power plants fell by over 11 MT. 

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