New Delhi: In the backdrop of a low coal stock crisis at thermal power plants and concerns about a possible power outage, the Ministry of Coal has assured that there is ample coal available in India to meet the rise in power demand and any fear of disruption is totally misplaced. In a statement, the Centre said, "The Ministry of Coal reassures that ample coal is available in the country to meet the demand of power plants. Any fear of disruption in power supply is entirely misplaced."
Coal stock at power plants is about 72 lakh tonnes, which is sufficient for four days, and Coal India Limited (CIL) has more than 400 lakh tonnes of coal, which is being supplied to the power plants, said the ministry.
Domestic coal-based power generation has grown by nearly 24 percent in this year (till September) based on a robust supply from coal companies, said the statement. Explaining that there is no dearth of availability of coal with coal PSUs, but there has been a depletion of inventories at coal-based power plants because of constrained supplies due to an extended monsoon, the ministry assured that the coal being used by power generators everyday is also being replenished everyday.
"The daily average coal requirement at power plants is about 18.5 lakh tonnes of coal, whereas the daily coal supply has been around 17.5 lakh tonnes per day. Due to the extended monsoons, the despatches were constrained. The coal available at power plants is a rolling stock which gets replenished by supplies from coal companies on a daily basis. Therefore, any fear of coal stocks depleting at the power plant end is erroneous. In fact this year, domestic coal supply has substituted imports by a substantial measure," said the Ministry of Coal.
Despite heavy rains in coal field areas, CIL had supplied more than 255 MT coal to the power sector in this year which is the highest ever H1 supply from CIL to the sector, said the government. Out of the total coal supply from all sources, present coal supply from CIL to power sector is more than 14 lakh tonnes per day. And with receding rains, this supply has already increased to 15 lakh tonnes and is set to increase to more than 16 lakh tonnes per day by the end of October. The supply from SCCL and captive coal blocks shall contribute to another 3 lakh plus tonnes of coal every day, said the statement.
Domestic coal supplies have supported power generation in a major way despite heavy monsoons, low coal imports and a steep hike in power demand due to economic recovery. It is expected that coal supplies are set to be a record high in the current financial year, said the ministry.
Due to high international prices of coal, supply of power even under PPAs by import-based power plants has reduced by almost 30 percent, while domestic-based power supply has gone up nearly 24 percent in H1 of this year. The imported coal-based power plants have generated about 25.6 BU against a programme of 45.7 BU.
"It may be noted that the comfortable coal position in the country is reflected by the fact that CIL has been supplying more than 2.5 lakh tonnes (approximately) daily to meet the demand of non-power industries like Aluminium, Cement, Steel etc along with supply of coal to thermal plants of the country," said the government.
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