New Delhi: The coal stock at thermal power plants in India has touched its highest-ever level at 39.48 million tonnes on March 11, an official at state-run Coal India Limited (CIL) said on Friday. The coal inventory is sufficient for running the power plant for 23 days, which is a day more than the 22-day coal-stock mandated by the CEA (Central Electricity Authority), the official said.
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"Coal stock at thermal power plants in the country has risen to the highest ever inventory of 39.48 million tonnes on March 11, sufficient for 23 days," he said.
The official added that the coal stock is expected to go up further before the end of the current fiscal year. "The previous high at CEA monitored power plants was 39.14 million tonnes around four years ago," he said. The average daily consumption of coal at the time was 1.48 million tonnes. The figure now stands at 1.76 million tonnes.
Coal India supplies coal to 125 thermal power plants, out of which 134 are monitored by the CEA. "With coal stocks comfortably placed there should not be any shortage in the ensuing summer months," the official said.
The coal stock at the pitheads of Coal India mines rose to 51 million tonnes on March 11, he added.
The news comes weeks after data showed that coal supply to the power sector by Coal India registered a decline of 6.8 percent to settle at 377.86 million tonnes (MT) in the April-January period of the financial year 2019-20. The figure was at 405.61 MT in the corresponding period of the previous financial year.
Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi has set a target of 1 billion coal production by FY2023-24. Coal India has been given a target of producing 660 MT of coal, amounting to 82 percent of the country's coal output. The minister has said that with the demand for power rising, there was enough opportunity for both the public and private sectors to produce coal without adversely impacting each other.