Despite ramping up output, Coal India may miss target

Vishwanath Kulkarni New Delhi | Updated on November 14, 2017



Under pressure from all quarters to produce more, Coal India Ltd has ramped up its output in last two months of current quarter. Though total output for the current financial year may exceed last year's 431 million tonnes, the company is likely to miss the revised production target of 440 million tonnes for the fiscal.

“We expect Coal India output to be around 435 million tonnes this year,” an official at Coal Ministry said. Coal India had initially set a target of 460 million tonnes for fiscal 2012, which was revised mid-year due to sluggish output in first half on account of heavy rains and clearance delays impacting its production.

Catching up

For Coal India, the March quarter is traditionally the strongest, when production peaks. In the past two months, Coal India has made up for the slippages and come out of its negative balance by registering a marginal growth in output.

In February, Coal India clocked a 17 per cent growth in output at 45.8 million tonnes as against 39 million tonnes in corresponding month last year. In January, the growth stood at 6 per cent. The despatches also improved by around 12 per cent to 39.3 million tonnes in February as against 35 million tonnes in the corresponding month a year ago, an official said.

For the April-February period of current fiscal, Coal India's output stood at 381.7 million tonnes, up 0.3 per cent over corresponding last year's 380 million tonnes.

The company has been producing over 1.6 million tonnes a day in February. Maintaining such a production trend for the rest of March will help the company exceed its last year's output. The off-take for the April-February period in current fiscal has grown 1.6 per cent to 390 million tonnes as against corresponding last year's 384 million tonnes, on improved rake availability.

Delays hurting

For last three years, Coal India's output has been stagnant largely on account of environmental and land acquisition issues hurting its production and expansion plans. The Group of Ministers on coal, which met last week is said to have discussed fast tracking several projects of Coal India for which the company is awaiting environmental clearance.

Recently, the Amrapali mine project in North Karanpura was accorded environmental clearance. The Amrapali project has an annual production capacity of 12 million tonnes and may contribute 1.5 million tonnes in next fiscal. The Prime Minister's Office has recently ordered Coal India to sign long-term fuel supply agreements with both existing and upcoming projects to be commissioned by March 2015.

Published on March 04, 2012

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