New Delhi: As monsoon has hit many parts of the country, Coal India Chairman Pramod Agrawal has said that the state-owned firm is braced up to meet its part of committed coal supplies to the power sector in the coming months, and stressed that building up dry fuel stock timely by electricity generating plants will be crucial. People in many parts of the country faced power outages at the beginning of the summer season this year due to the shortage of coal supplies at various thermal plants.
"Timely stock build-up by power plants when coal is available will be crucial. We are gearing up to meet our part of committed supplies to the power sector in the ensuing months," Agrawal said in an interview to PTI.
Stating that the company is targeting to close the first quarter with 35 million tonnes (MTs) incremental production compared to same quarter of last year, he said that the company's output tempo is progressing in this direction.
"We will not spare any effort in pushing up the output and off take," he added.
Terming the recent coal shortages as "misnomer," Agrawal said that Coal India Ltd's (CIL) pitheads are stocked with around 46 MT of coal, whereas coal stock at power plants stands at around 24 MT.
This apart, a little over 6 MT is lying at goods sheds, private washeries, ports and CIL's sidings awaiting transportation to power plants' end.
The Coal India Chairman said that the demand-supply mismatch witnessed in the recent past was on account of three reasons. Firstly, there was an unforeseen escalation in power demand on the back of strong post-pandemic economic revival, secondly, the blazing summer heat across the northern plains of the country further accelerated the demand.
Finally, the international coal prices which are simmering over for past many months have deterred imports by international coal-based power plants, the Chairman explained.
"The first quarter is usually highly productive for us. We have registered nearly 29 percent production growth during the first two months of the current fiscal at 108 MT over the same period last year, the highest ever for this period," Agrawal said.
Concurrently, supply to the power sector at 102 MT grew by 16.7 percent.
CIL aims to supply 565 MT to the power sector during FY23 and the company's efforts are oriented to meet this.
"Increasing supplies is a concerted move and we are synergising our efforts with ministries of coal, power and railways. Power houses should strive to lift coal through road and RCR mode in order to augment overall supply," he added.
Coal India accounts for over 80 percent of domestic coal production. The PSU is one of the major suppliers of fossil fuel to the power sector.
(With agency inputs)
(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.)