No coal shortage at power plants; supply rises 25% in Apr-Dec: India’s Power Minister, R K Singh

Power projects in the country do not have any coal shortage currently and these plants have got 25 per cent higher coal supply of 430.6 million tonnes in April-December 2021 compared to a year ago, Parliament was informed last week. “Presently, there is no shortage of coal for power plants in the country,” Union Power Minister R K Singh said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

According to the reply, the total quantity of coal despatched to the power sector by Coal India Ltd (CIL) and Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) during April-December 2021 stood at about 430.6 million tonnes (MT), against about 344.2 MT in the year-ago period. It was about 375.2 MT during the corresponding period of 2019-20.

The despatch showed a growth of about 25 per cent with respect to the preceding year and by about 15 per cent with respect to 2019-20, it added. Further, Singh told the House that the coal import has reduced to 21.4 MT during 2021-22 (April-December) as against 35.1 MT during the same period of 2020-21 and 52.5 MT during the same period of 2019-20. The shortfall in imported coal has been compensated by supply from domestic coal, he stated.

He also informed the House that as a result of the above measures, the coal stock available at the power plants has increased from 7.2 MT as on October 8, 2021, to about 25 MT as on January 26, 2022.

To address the issues of coal supplies to the power sector, an inter-ministerial sub-group meet regularly to take various operational decisions to enhance the supply of coal to thermal power plants (TPPs) as well as for meeting any contingent situations related to the power sector, including to alleviate critical coal stock position in power plants. The government has issued the revised coal stocking norms, which mandates the power plants to maintain sufficient stocks at all times to meet any contingent situation. Further, the Ministry of Power on December 7, 2021, advised power plants to import required coal for the blending purpose during 2022-23.

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