PSU miner Coal India (CIL) aims to build up a coal stock of at least 45 million tonnes (MT) at power plants and of over 70 MT at its pit head by the end of this fiscal.
The target for the stock at the plants would match the previous highest-ever stock in power plants, achieved in 2020. CIL’s current pit head stock of 31.3 MT is expected to grow rapidly with production ramped up in the last quarter.
At the end of FY21, CIL had pit head stock of around 100 MT, which CMD Pramod Agrawal said “is not an ideal stock situation”. Huge pit head stocks have a high chance of catching fire, and the quality of the coal declines due to exposure to the open skies for a long time.
Agrawal had said earlier that the ideal pit head stock situation would be around 70-75 MT. Stock enhancement at thermal power plants by the end of the fiscal has been based on a projection considering the average coal fired power generation of previous five years from December to March, and increased by 7%.
However, that the 100 MT pit head stock did help CIL rush coal to power plants facing shortage in October. With enhanced supply, the current indigenous coal stock at the power plants is around 20 MT, most of it supplied by CIL. The company wants the stock from its sources to go up to 25 MT by December-end. CIL’s current despatch trend indicates it is on track for record supply to the power sector by the end of the fiscal, overtaking 491 MT recorded in FY19. Despatches to power plants peaked to a record 340 MT progressive at the end of November, posting a 23% growth with a volume increase of 62.6 MT, on a year-on-year comparison, the miner said.