East Coast Rly's coal loading at Talcher takes a hit

Santanu Sanyal Kolkata | Updated on August 17, 2011

coal rake

East Coast Railway's (ECoR) coal loading at Talcher mines of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) has been hit following transporters' strike and other problems at the mines level.

As a result, the daily average loading has dropped to less than 17 rakes from the normal 25-26 rakes, according toECoR sources.

“We've taken up the matter with MCL authorities who, we believe, are trying their best to resolve the problems,” according to a spokesman for ECoR.

In fact, ECoR's coal loading at Talcher has been hit on several occasions so far in the current fiscal.

While in April average daily loading was 25 rakes, in May and June, it was 20 each month. In July, the loading improved to 23.8 but again dropped to around 17 so far in the current month.

However, ECoR's overall coal loading has remained by and large unaffected thanks to good loading of imported coal at the four ports of Paradip, Dhamra, Visakhapatnam and Gangavaram.

Dhamra port

“Last month, the Paradip average of 10.3 rakes a day has been best so far,” the spokesman said, adding that the loading at Visakhapatnam, despite various problems facing the port, too has been normal at seven rakes a day. Dharma loading has been good at four rakes considering that the port was commissioned a little more than two months ago.


There has been some drop in throughput at Gangavaram, presumably because a major private sector steel plant has withdrawn operations from the port.

Also, reports have it that a public sector power utility, importing coal through the port, used up its half-yearly import quotaby July against the planned September.

Earlier, Talcher loading accounted for 90 per cent of ECoR's total coal loading. Not any more.

Talcher share drops

With sharp rise in the loading of imported coal at various ports, the share of Talcher has dropped to around 50 per cent.

This month, it may drop even further, it is feared.

ECoR's total traffic throughout in July was 9.8 mt compared with 9.25 mt in the same month last year. This month also, it is targeted to handle 9.8 mt (9.48 mt), but keeps its fingers crossed as the Talcher impasse continues.

Published on August 17, 2011

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