Power consumption dipped by nearly 2 per cent or by 72 million units (MU) to 3,828 MU on Saturday compared to 3,900 MU on Friday, showing slight improvement in supply situation across the country amid coal shortage crisis, according to the power ministry data.
According to the data, the power consumption of 3,900 MU on Friday or October 8 was the highest this month so far (from October 1 to 9), which also became cause of concern among the ongoing coal shortage crisis in the country.
This was the fallout of coal shortage at power plants in a year when the country produced record coal, but rains hit movement of the fuel from mines to power generation units, impacting power generation in many states, including Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Tamil Nadu.
Another factor that has contributed to the present crisis is power plants that used imported coal to generate electricity, have either curtailed generation or completely stopped as a spurt in international energy prices has made it difficult for them to meet the commitments to states at a particular rate.
The ministry of power in a statement issued on Saturday had said, “It was noted that on 7th October, 2021 total dispatch of coal by Coal India limited (CIL) touched 1.501 MT thereby reducing the gap between consumption and actual supply.
The Ministry of Coal and CIL have assured that they are making best efforts to increase dispatch to the power sector to 1.6 MT per day in the next three days and thereafter try to touch 1.7 MT per day. It is likely to help in gradual build up of coal stocks at power plants in near future. The coal supply as well as consequent power situation is likely to improve.”
As many as 30 plants with 37,345 MW capacity had coal for just one day and 18 plants with 23,450 MW capacity had coal for two days as of October 7, 2021.There were 19 plants with 29,160 MW capacity which had coal for three days and nine plants with 7,864MW capacity had coal for four days. There were six plants with 6,730MW capacity had coal stock for five days while 10 plants with 11,540MW capacity had coal for six days.