Power generating firms (gencos) have imported 92.07 lakh tonne of coal in April-June FY23 for blending purposes ahead of Monsoon season, Parliament was informed on Thursday.

"Ministry of Power (in April) advised central gencos, state gencos, and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to import coal for blending purpose during 2022-23," Union Power Minister, RK Singh said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

He informed the House to ensure minimum coal stocks in power plants before the onset of monsoon, the power ministry advised all Gencos to complete placement of awards for import of coal before May 31, 2022.

Allocation of coal

In May, the ministry had stated that domestic coal would be allocated proportionately to all gencos based on the availability of domestic coal from Coal India Ltd (CIL) /Singhareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL), and the shortfall is to be met from by blending of the imported coal.

The reply showed that 92,07,000 tonnes of coal were imported by the gencos during April-June in FY23, which includes 57,17,000 tonne by central gencos, 28,85,000 tonne by IPPs, and 6,05,000 tonne by state gencos.

The state-owned power giant, NTPC and NTPC-JV (joint venture) imported 49,39,000 tonne of coal.

In another reply to the House, Singh stated that, as of March 31, 2022, the domestic coal stock was 24.18 million tonne (MT), whichhas reached 23.126 MT as of July 14, 2022, which is about 40 per cent of the normative stock requirement of 56.6 MT during July 2022.

As of July 14, 2022, the coal stock is sufficient for an average of 10 days at a requirement of 85 per cent PLF (plant load factor).

Plant load factor

From April to June this year, all India average gap between the energy requirement and energy supplied was one per cent.

The gap between energy demand and supply is on account of factors other than inadequacy of power availability in the country like constraints in the distribution network, financial constraints, commercial reasons, forced outage of generating units, etc., the minister explained.

In another reply to the House, the minister informed state gencos approached REC Ltd for a working capital loan for coal purchase.

REC has sanctioned a loan amount totalling ₹3,700 crore for the purchase of coal, which includes Rs 1,800 crore for Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Ltd.

He informed the House the PLF of coal/lignite-based power plants with a capacity of 25 MW and above during 2021-22 was 58.87 per cent.

In 2022-23, the electricity demand has increased, and power plants are generating electricity as per the schedule given to them. The PLF for coal/lignite-based power plants in FY23 up to June 2022 is 69.5 per cent, he stated.