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Power plants are finally recovering from coal stock deficit

PW Bureau 

A drop in demand during the recent winter months helped bring down fuel consumption, which increased stocks, said power sector officials Kolkata: Ending scarcity that lasted many months, coal stocks at power plants and mine pitheads have grown to 60 million tonnes, which is enough to produce electricity for 36 days. Power plants now have enough stocks to operate for 15 days while every unit has fuel, a noticeable improvement from October when they just had adequate coal for six days while many had no coal at all. A drop in demand during the recent winter months helped bring down fuel consumption, which increased stocks, said power sector officials. Pithead stocks are enough to operate power plants for three weeks. Compared to around 10 million tonnes in October, stocks at power plants increased to 25.37 million tonnes, as pithead stocks rose from 20 million tonnes in November to 34.50 million tonnes.

Stock situation ‘supercritical’ at two plants

The stock situation is critical at only three plants and ‘supercritical’ at another two, a top Coal India Ltd official said. “Supplies to these plants are an issue due to logistics constraints,” he said. Since it was the lean season, stocks increased, said power producers, who added that plants need to stock up fuel as much as they can afford to. Coal India is requesting power firms to lift as much coal as they can to gear up for the growing summer demand.