Coal India plans to raise stock at thermal power plants to 45 million tonnes by fiscal-end

Coal Secretary Anil Kumar Jain underscored the importance of shoring up coal stocks at power plants with indigenous coal where CIL is to take lead role.

CIL's despatches to power plants peaked to a record 340 MT progressive ending November, posting 23 per cent growth with volume increase of 62.6 MT, on a year-on-year comparison. (File)
CIL's despatches to power plants peaked to a record 340 MT progressive ending November, posting 23 per cent growth with volume increase of 62.6 MT, on a year-on-year comparison. (File)

State-owned CIL on Thursday said it has drawn up plans to boost coal stock at thermal power plants to over 45 million tonnes (MT) from its own sources by the end of the ongoing fiscal.

Coal India Ltd (CIL) is aiming for the highest-ever closing stock at power plants, the PSU said in a statement.

“The previous high was 45 MT in 2020,” it said.

In a workshop held on December 11 in Kolkata with senior officials of CIL and its subsidiaries, Coal Secretary Anil Kumar Jain underscored the importance of shoring up coal stocks at power plants with indigenous coal where CIL is to take lead role.

The intent is to maintain steady supply of coal to power plants during summer and monsoon months to avoid disproportionate demand-despatch scenario. The focus is also to reduce coal imports in substitutable category.

Coal stock enhancement to 45 MT at thermal power plants by the fiscal end is based on a projection where the average coal fired power generation of previous five years, from December to March, was considered and increased by 7 per cent.

Volume of coal required to meet this generation and additional stock build-up was then worked out.

With current indigenous coal stock of around 20 MT at power plants (December 14), major portion bolstered by CIL, the company is focused on lifting its component to 25 MT by the end of the current month. Gradually, the stock would be scaled up to 45 MT by March-end.

Though coal sale outstanding dues from state and central power gencos stepped down till November-end, the dues are still substantial especially from state generators. This creates liquidity crunch in some of CIL’s subsidiaries like WCL, ECL and BCCL which require large capex push.

Despite this, CIL prioritised supplies to power plants to satisfy their increased appetite for coal on the back of the recent spike in demand. CIL’s current despatch trend indicates record high supply to power sector by the closure of the fiscal, overtaking 491 MT of FY’19.

CIL’s despatches to power plants peaked to a record 340 MT progressive ending November, posting 23 per cent growth with volume increase of 62.6 MT, on a year-on-year comparison.

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