Coal Ministry's monthly summary for the...
Cabinet shows Coal India's supplies to power stations was 6.8 percent higher at 205.5 MT in the April-September period than the previous corresponding period. Coal India is the anchor source for coal, accounting for 80 percent of supplies. The latest figures will, thus, come as a relief to the coal ministry, which has found itself on the defensive following low stocks at power stations across the country in spite of double-digit growth in Coal India's production.
The situation was compounded by September as nuclear generation fell 36 percent, wind 14 percent and hydel 12 percent. Supplies from Bhutan also fell. This surging demand shifted to coal-fired plants, a fact supported by Central Electricity Authority data showing 17 percent growth in thermal generation in August. As thermal plants operated at 58 percent capacity in August against 51.59 percent in the year-ago period, coal demand spiked by 20 million tonne.
This increase coincided with power stations drawing down coal stockpiles by half in February to reduce inventory costs as timely supply had become the new normal. Just when stocks were pared to about 11 days or less, the sweaty season demand spiked in August and coal supplies got disrupted. Even as coal supplies are rising, the switching of load from other sources put power station back to square one.
Coal India Limited, the Maharatna PSU is the largest coal producer in the world. Operating through 82 mining areas CIL is an apex body with seven wholly-owned coal producing subsidiaries and one mine planning and consultancy company spread over eight states, CIL also fully owns a mining company in Mozambique called 'Coal India Africana Limitada'. It produces around 84 percent of India's overall coal production. In India where approximately 55 percent of primary commercial energy is coal dependent, CIL alone meets to the tune of 40 percent of primary commercial energy requirement. It commands nearly 74 percent of the Indian coal market. 98 out of 101 coal-based thermal power plants in India are dependent on CIL for coal.