Coal India’s production moderates to keep pace with demand

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Published: April 13, 2020 5:05:29 PM

Earlier, failure to lift the ordered quantity of coal within a stipulated time attracted forfeiture of earnest money deposit under auction schemes.

Cumulative production in this month till Saturday last week was 14.50 million tonne and an offtake of 14.70 million tonne indicated that the miner was producing in line with demand.Cumulative production in this month till Saturday last week was 14.50 million tonne and an offtake of 14.70 million tonne indicated that the miner was producing in line with demand.

Coal India has moderated its production in April keeping in mind the demand and fire hazard threats at mine pitheads and power plant stockyards in summer months, an official said on Monday. In the first 11 days of April, the average daily production stood at 1.3 million tonne as against 2.7 million tonne for the month of March, the official said. Cumulative production in this month till Saturday last week was 14.50 million tonne and an offtake of 14.70 million tonne indicated that the miner was producing in line with demand.

For the new fiscal (FY’21), the company had earlier set a production target of 710 million tonne based on previous goals. “Coal production is normal but it has to be done considering several factors like offtake, demand situation and limitations of the stock as the fuel is a high combustible item,” the official said. Coal stocks in the country now stand at 120 million tonnes.

Pithead stock of around 75 million tonne and 45 million tonne of coal available with thermal power plants are sufficient for 28 days, the official said. Demand for the dry fuel has plummeted from power plants and the requirement of non-power consumers has also been impacted due to lockdown as plants are either closed or running at lower levels, he said.

According to the official, the miner has maintained supplies and offered relaxations to its customers despite default by some generating companies. The company has also extended the time limit for payment of coal, booked by its customers, by two more weeks till April 21 from April 7 announced earlier.

The long pending demand of Usance LC is now implemented as an additional mode of payment along with Irrevocable Revolving Letters of Credit (IRLC) for the coal supplied to power producers, especially independent power plants. This will help the cash strapped power producers avail credit facility through their banks to tackle liquidity crunch. CIL has also extended the validity period for lifting of coal under all auctions without any penalty.

Earlier, failure to lift the ordered quantity of coal within a stipulated time attracted forfeiture of earnest money deposit under auction schemes. Now, this clause has been done away with till the closure of the lockdown period to non-regulated sector as well. The company closed fiscal 2019-20 with annual coal production of 602.14 million tonne achieving 91 per cent of the target. It had recorded an all time high of 84.36 million tonnes coal output during March the last month of FY’20.

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