No crisis of coal stocks, fear of power disruption misplaced, says ministry of coal
Delhi/Ranchi: The Ministry of Coal has for the first time on Sunday formally rejected growing fears of power supply disruption in the country in the wake of reports about depleting coal stocks at power plants since last few days. Several states including Jharkhand have already reported power outages. The Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (JBVNL), the state owned discom on Saturday also issued an advisory asking consumers to maintain austerity measures and curb unwanted use/excess consumption of electricity expecting crisis for next one week amid the festive season.
The Ministry of Coal however has reassured 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. The coal stock at power plant end is about 72 lakh tonnes, sufficient for 4 days requirement, and that the Coal India Limited (CIL) end is more than 400 lakh tonnes, which is being supplied to the power plants,” noted an official communiqué released by the Press Information Bureau (PIB).
The domestic coal based power generation has grown by nearly 24% in this year (till September 2021) based on a robust supply from the coal companies. “The daily average coal requirement at the power plants is about 18.5 lakh tonnes of coal per day whereas the daily coal supply has been around 17.5 lakh tonnes per day,” said the ministry.
“Due to the extended monsoons the despatches were constrained. The coal available at the power plants is a rolling stock which gets replenished by the supplies from the 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,” it added.
Despite heavy rains in the coal field areas, CIL had supplied more than 255 MT coal to power sector in this year which is the highest ever H-1 supply from CIL to power sector. 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 the 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 2021. “The supply from SCCL and captive coal blocks shall contribute to another 3 lakh plus tonnes of coal every day,” it informed.
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.
Due to high international prices of coal, supply of power even under PPAs by import based power plants has reduced by almost 30 % while domestic based power supply has gone up nearly 24 % in H1 of this year. The imported coal based power plants have generated about 25.6 BU against a program of 45.7 BU.
“It may be noted that the comfortable coal position in the country is reflected by the fact that the CIL has been supplying more than 2.5 lakh tonnes 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,” it said.