Coal India clears two years’ pending rakes, builds up stock at power plants

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Published: January 29, 2020 12:44 AM

Dipka opencast mine of SECL, the third-largest coal producing mine of CIL came back strongly in record time, reaching 1 lakh tonne production per day

This tremendously hampered CIL’s growth in production but the company was quick to recover after the floods subsided in October-end and production started picking up.

Mining behemoth Coal India (CIL) has liquidated over 78% of non-lapsable arrear rakes to nonpower sector after it had build up sufficient coal stock for the power plants. Non-lapsable arrear rakes for the non-power sector consumers were pending for FY18 and FY19.

CIL began by clearing 5,143 arrear rakes on April 1, 2019 and brought down the number to 1,116, clearing 4,027 rakes. It is hopeful that the rest will be cleared by the end of the fiscal. A CIL official told Fe two factors mainly contributed to clearing the pending railway rakes.

First — a pick up in production post monsoon and second — a low demand scenario from the power plants, which helped CIL build up sufficient stock. The country’s power plants at present are flushed with a total of 35.25 million tonne of stock, sufficient for 19 days’ consumption, as on January 26, whereas pithead stocks are at 31.41 mt.

The current level of coal stock at the power plants is 14.89 mt, more than that of a year ago period. Last year, the stock at the same period was 19.36 mt.

Better management of supply logistics ensured that coal stock at various power stations was maintained throughout the year.

The number of critical power plants never touched double digit during FY20 as per CEA, an official said, adding that after almost three years the plants of NTPC and the NTPC JVs had zero critical stock.

Coal supplies to consuming sector grew by 6.2% and all this could happen because of robust growth in coal production.

CIL clocked double digit growth of 10.7% in coal production for January (as of January 27).  It’s production at 54.17 mt as of the said date was 5.23 mt more compared to the same period last fiscal.  This has been the first month of the fiscal where CIL could register a double digit growth and touched an average per day coal production of 2 mt. The production spurt came largely on the back of Mahanadi Coalfields and South Eastern Coalfields.

By the end of January, production is likely to be up by another 8 mt, a CIL spokesperson said. Mahanadi Coalfields (MCL) surged ahead with 21.5% production growth, followed by South Eastern Coalfields (SECL) with 14.4%.
These are two of the largest producing subsidiaries of CIL, which together contribute close to half of CIL’ total coal output.

Dipka opencast mine of SECL, the third-largest coal producing mine of CIL came back strongly in record time, reaching 1 lakh tonne production per day. Dipka’s lower benches were flooded when a non-seasonal river broke the embankment and flooded the mine during September last year.

This tremendously hampered CIL’s growth in production but the company was quick to recover after the floods subsided in October-end and production started picking up.

Coal offtake at 48.07 mt as of January 27 registered a growth of 6.2% compared to same date last January. The increase in volume terms was 2.82 mt.

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