The government on Tuesday said specific instructions have been given to coal companies to give priority supplies to thermal power plants having critical stock level, and the dry fuel stock at the plants is expected to stabilise in the next few days. The development comes in the wake of reports of thermal power generation units across the country grappling with coal shortage.
"Secretary (Coal) has given specific instructions to the coal companies to give priority supplies to all the TPPs having critical stock level and to focus on stock liquidation from the mines having high stock level," the coal ministry said in a statement. The ministry said it is all geared up to address the issue of stock build up at the end of the thermal power plants (TPPs) during the monsoon season.
It is notable that coal stocks with Coal India Ltd (CIL) are adequate to meet the upsurge in power demand being witnessed in the country since July this year. The supply of coal to power plants is being monitored at the highest level in the ministry on a daily basis in coordination with the Ministry of Power, Railways and the coal companies.
"Secretary (Coal) has reviewed the supply scenario with the coal companies on August 27 as well as August 30," the statement said. He has further directed that in case of availability issue at linked mines alternative sources be allocated for smooth running of the plant. The despatches are being aligned with the advisories of power ministry.
CIL has stepped up its coal supplies vigorously during the last five days of August consistently clocking 1.7 million tonnes (MT) per day. Augmenting supplies to coal fired power plants, CIL is pumping 1.36 MT of coal per day. The last three-day average loading to power sector has touched 1.4 MTs.
The coal supplies to TPPs has picked up only in July and have been at a historic high since then. All efforts are being made in cooperation with Railway authorities to enhance despatch to meet the unprecedented growth in demand for coal-based power. The subsidiaries of CIL have upped their loading commensurate with the prevailing demand scenario.
Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) in a record performance has despatched 102 rakes on Monday. CIL has registered the highest ever loading since July of 285 rakes in a single day on Monday from CIL sidings. The depletion rate of coal stocks in TPPs has now much reduced. In the coming days the supplies from the coal companies to power plants is expected to improve further to stand by the nation in these critical monsoon months and meet the demand of the power sector.