The Coal Ministry on Thursday said that it plans to keep building stocks of coal at thermal power plants (TPPs) so that by end-March 2023, the reserves go up to 45 million tonnes (MT).

“Coal Ministry is planning to build stock at domestic coal-based plants to the tune of 30 MT by the end of November 2022. It has plans to keep building stocks so that by the end of March 31, 2023, TPPs stock will go up to 45 MT. It is further planned to enhance coal stock at the pithead,” it said in a statement.

Earlier this month, in an interview to businessline, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi assured that there will not be a repeat of the coal crisis of October 2021 and May-June 2022 and the Ministry will ensure coal reserves of 40 MT at TPPs by the end of FY23. He, however, urged plants to ensure enough space for storing up to 45 MT of the dry fuel.

Facilitating transport

During April-October period of FY23, there is a 9-per cent growth in average-rakes-per-day availability, which is helping transport higher quantities of coal and building up stocks at power plants.

Power Ministry is also augmenting transportation of coal through rail-cum-road (RCR) mode. Besides, Coal India (CIL) has communicated the quota for RCR mode for lifting the commodity to all the gencos for next eight months, which will help them plan transportation logistics in advance.

Ministries of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Power, Railways and Coal are working together to promote transportation of coal through the sea route.

So far, transportation of coal from MCL to Paradip by rail and thereafter to power plants on the eastern coast is being made through the rail-sea-rail (RSR) route. The government promotes transportation of coal from coal mines in the eastern parts of the country to power plants located on the western coast or northern parts of the country.

Accordingly, the capacity of coal transportation to Paradip is being augmented. It is planned to start movement of coal for the western coast plants through RSR by early next year. The government plans to promote transportation of coal through all three possible modes.

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