State-run Coal India is likely to register close to 17% growth in coal despatch to customers in the non-regulated sector (NRS) in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter this fiscal.
Coal despatch to NRS customers is averaging 367,000 tonne per day in the fourth quarter till date, the miner said in a statement to the exchanges on Friday. CIL is likely to close the ongoing quarter with 33 million tonne (MT) supply to this sector.
“It would mean 4.7 MT more coal to NRS, or a jump of 16.6%, compared to 28.3 MT that the company supplied in the third quarter of the year. Supplies to NRS during January-March 2023 expected at 33 MT, which would be 3.1 MT more against comparable quarter of FY22, representing a double-digit growth of 10.4%,” the statement said. CIL had supplied 29.9 MT to non-regulated sector in the last quarter of FY22.
The improved supplies to NRS, from the quarter beginning January were fueled by the accretion in the coal inventory at CIL’s pitheads. In March, coal stock increase at CIL’s end was to the tune of 600,000 tonne per day so far despite higher supplies to power utilities. CIL’s pithead stock, which was 32 MT in the third quarter ending December 2022, has doubled to a buffer of 63.8 MT as on March 23. The stocks are expected to be 68 MT by the fiscal’s closure.
“We are making all efforts to supply higher quantities to NRS customers without affecting supplies to power sector, through increased production,” a CIL official said.
In the ongoing quarter of FY23, CIL has booked close to 16 MT in e-auctions which is 1 MT more than 15 MT of the previous quarter. With more auctions lined up in the last week of March, coal booking will go even higher by the quarter’s end. CIL has the option of placing upto 20% of its total production under the e-auction hammer after fulfilling its fuel supply agreements.
Though e-auction sales fetch higher add-on over the notified prices, CIL’s priority is to fulfill its FSA commitments and meet the demand surge from the power sector, the statement added.