- Despite the setbacks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, CIL should be able to reach the 1-BT coal production target by the end of calendar year 2024 at all costs, Joshi told CIL
- Coal will remain a major contributor to India’s energy basket, said the minister
New Delhi: Union Minister for Coal Pralhad Joshi has issued stern directions to state-run Coal India Ltd (CIL) and its subsidiaries to ensure that coal stocks at thermal power plants (TPPs) reach at least 18 days by the end of November. Addressing the employees of Coal India on the PSU’s 47th Foundation Day on Monday, the minister also emphatically said that despite the setbacks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, CIL should be able to reach the 1-Billion Tonne (BT) coal production target by the end of calendar year 2024 “at all costs.”
Joshi commends CIL’s performance during power crisis
While noting that the coal despatch registered by CIL in October — at 556 MT — was the highest-ever despatch recorded in October so far, Joshi commended the performance of Coal India and its subsidiaries during the power crisis. The minister stressed that the state-run coal miner must ramp up coal supplies to the power sector further to ensure that coal stocks at TPPs are at 18 days by the end of November. “CMDs of CIL and its subsidiaries should pay attention and work out a detailed work strategy to make this happen immediately after this function,” said the minister. Currently, the average coal stock at 135 thermal power plants monitored by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) is sufficient for six days of power generation. Until few days back, the average coal stock at TPPs was four days.
He also asked CMDs of CIL and its subsidiaries to write to TPPs and ask them to start building coal stock enough for 25 days after November “Write to TPPs and ask them to store 25 days of stock after November so that there’s no shortage of coal in the subsequent months and during the monsoon next year, even if coal transportation is impacted. And Coal India should be in a position to supply this quantity of coal,” said the minister.
‘CIL must achieve 1-BT coal production target by 2024-end’
The minister also made it clear that despite the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s no question of going back on the 1-BT coal production target set for Coal India. Joshi said that the target, which was originally meant to be achieved by March 2024, can be advanced to December 2024, but it must be achieved “at all costs.”
“By the end of calendar year 2024, we must achieve the 1-Billion Tonne coal production target at all costs, despite the loss of one year due to COVID. I urge CMDs of CIL and its subsidiaries to plan in advance, resolve issues, remove all bottlenecks and see that by the end of 2024, Coal India achieves the 1-BT coal production target. International coal prices are on the rise and domestic production should rise,” said Joshi.
“We must convert the crisis into an opportunity. Whatever needs to be done for realising the 1-BT target, CIL must ensure that work in that direction starts today,” Joshi added.
‘Coal will remain major contributor to India’s energy basket’
Admitting that the window for utilisation of coal is small, Joshi stressed that it is pivotal for the country to use this period to ensure maximum production and optimal utilisation, so that coal is available to India’s industries. “Coal reserves are finite and we are switching to green energy. But we must ensure that coal is available for our industries. India may have a small window for utilisation of coal. But we must ensure maximum production and optimal utilisation during this period.
Joshi stressed that demand for coal is poised to increase throughout this decade in India and added, “Coal will remain a major contributor to India’s energy basket.”
(PSU Watch– India's Business News centre that places the spotlight on PSUs, Bureaucracy, Defence and Public Policy is now on Google News. Click here to follow. Also, join PSU Watch Channel in your Telegram. You may also follow us on Twitter here and stay updated.)