There is no shortage of coal in the country, Union minister Pralhad Joshi informed the Parliament. Replying to a query in the Rajya Sabha, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said that coal stocks at generating plants had depleted due to some interruption in supply of dry fuel due to heavy rains, increased power demand, and less electricity generation by imported coal-based power plants.
Coal stock at power plants depleted to 7.2 million tonnes (MT) (sufficient for four days) as of October 8, 2021. Subsequently with increased coal supplies, the coal stock has started increasing and has now reached 17.29 MT (sufficient for nine days) as of November 29, he said.
Coal India Limited (CIL) has dispatched around 54 MT more coal during April-October period in comparison to the same period of last year. CIL has dispatched 291.72 MT coal during this period, against 237.75 MT during the same period of last fiscal.
As per Central Electricity Authority (CEA) generation report during the period of April to October, the coal based power generation is 594.34 BU, against 511.46 BU during the same period of the last fiscal.
The ministers of coal, power and railways had reviewed the power demand, coal supply and coal transportation to the thermal power plants in the country on September 21 and October 19, the minister said. CIL accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal output.
Meanwhile Coal India has been directed to achieve 1 billion tonnes of coal production by 2023-24 with a required compound average growth rate (CAGR ) of 10.95%. All India coal production target for 2020-21 was 828.50 million tonnes (MT) against which 716.08 MT was produced. During this period, coal production declined by 2% as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. The decline in coal production is largely due heavy rainfall witnessed in the coal mining areas in the current year which was around 25% more than the previous year. Further, rains also continued during the month of October.