Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi on Sunday reviewed the coal production and despatch situation at thermal power plants (TPPs) as the country’s power demand is expected to hit 235 gigawatts (GW) during May.

“Chaired a meeting with senior officials of the Coal Ministry to review coal production and off-take. We are fully prepared to meet the rising coal demand during the peak summer months and every step is being taken to ensure adequate coal supply across the country, to continue powering up the economy. With expansion in coal mining and improvement in efficiency, we are successfully meeting the rising energy demands of the nation,” Joshi tweeted on X (formerly Twitter).

The Minister noted that coal stock at domestic-coal based (DCB) TPPs have increased by 30 per cent over 2023.

Currently, the total coal stock in the country is 149 million tonnes (MT). With sufficient stock available, the Ministry is prepared for the ongoing summer season in May and June and upcoming monsoons ahead, he added.

India produced 78.69 MT coal during April, a growth of 7.42 per cent Y-o-Y. Dispatch to the Power sector rose 5.43 per cent Y-o-Y to 69.83 MT.

Power demand

Last week, the Power Ministry said that peak electricity demand is likely to hit 235 GW during the day and 225 GW during the evening in May. In June, the peak is likely to reach 240 GW in the day and 235 GW during the evening hours. The peak evening power demand during April 2024 stood at 224 GW, which was successfully met.

The Ministry said that it has also invoked Section 11 for gas-based power plants too, which has made available additional 6 GW for May and June. This is in addition to the 10 GW already made available. Section 11 has also been invoked for imported coal based (ICB) power plants.

Under Section 11 of the Electricity Act, 2003, the government can direct Gencos, under extraordinary circumstances, to operate and maintain power plants in accordance with its directions.

The optimisation of hydro power generation has made available an additional 4 GW for meeting the demand during May and June. Besides, the shifting of planned maintenance and minimization of partial and forced outages of TPPs has made available another 5 GW for the summer season, Power Ministry said.

Further, compared to April 2024, power generated from wind is expected to increase by 4-5 GW during May and June, it added.

According to Power Ministry data, coal stocks at DCB plants stood at 44.58 MT as on May 10 with a daily requirement of 2.7 MT. While, stocks at ICB plants stood at 2.13 MT with a daily requirement of 1.84 lakh tonnes.