Kolkata, March 14

Ruling out a possible shortage of fuel amid a surge in demand in lieu of soaring mercury levels, Coal India Ltd (CIL) on Tuesday said close to 115 million tonnes (mt) of domestic coal is available to the power plants across various sources, including CIL’s pitheads, stock at the plants’ end and those lying at private washeries, goods sheds, ports and captive mines, among others, to meet the surge in power demand in the ensuing months. Besides, the miner is also ramping up production enhance supply to the power sector to ensure adequate stocks.

The company is looking to supply close to 156 million tonnes (mt) of coal to the power sector during April-June 2023 quarter. This would be close to 26 per cent of the enhanced annual dispatch target of 610 mt slated for this sector in 2023-24, which is 20 mt more than the initially projected 590 mt requirement by power sector, said a press statement issued by the company.

CIL is likely to have close to 68 mt coal stock build up expected at its pitheads by 2022-23 end, which as of March 13 was at 57.3 mt. The company would also be scaling up its production maintaining the momentum it had witnessed during the current fiscal. It is likely to end the current financial year with a production of 700 mt. 

“Even after despatching the planned coal to power utilities in the first quarter of FY-24, CIL is likely have a healthy 50 mt coal stock at its pitheads by June-end,” a senior company official said in the statement. Of the total 821 mt domestic coal demand projected for the power sector in 2023-24, CIL’s target alone accounts for nearly three-quarters at 610 mt.

Coal despatches

By the end of the ongoing fiscal year it is estimated that there would be at least 115 mt of domestic coal available to the power plants, with 68 mt at CIL’s pitheads and 32 mt at plants’ end. Coal lying at private washeries, goods sheds, ports and captive mines account for around 12 mt. Rakes on run, that is coal in transit, normally make up 3 mt of coal. This is almost 24 per cent higher as compared 92.7 mt of domestic coal available from the same sources last year.

Even in the current financial year the initial target of 565 mt, to thermal plants, was increased to 569.5 mt by the power sector in May 2022. Taking the rejigged target into its stride, CIL has already clocked 554 mt supply to power sector as of March 13. 

The company is well on its track to close FY’23 with more than 585 mt despatch to power sector which represents over eight per cent jump over 540 mt clocked in FY-22.

“We are fully cognizant of the importance of meeting the demand surge from power sector and would do everything within our means to meet it,” the official said.