Commodities

Coal stocks at power plants gradually improving

Shobha Roy Kolkata | Updated on October 26, 2021

Coal stocks at power plants seem to be gradually improving with the average daily stock at coal fired thermal power plants increasing to five days, as against around four days just about a fortnight ago. The average daily stock has also increased to 8.45 million tonne (mt) as on October 24 as against 7.29 mt as on October 10 this year.

According to the data available on the website of Central Electricity Authority, the number of plants holding critical or super critical stock levels (holding less than six days’ stock) has also come down to 101 as on October 24, as compared with around 115 plants as on October 10. However, this is still high as compared to only around 13 plants in critical/super critical levels as on October 24, 2020.

Industry sources, however, believe that the situation is likely to further improve in the days to come. Coal India has been steadily ramping up supplies to the power sector to tide over the shortage. The average daily supplies to power plants so far during this month increased by nearly 19 per cent to 1.5 mt as against 1.26 mt same period last year. Supplies to the sector went up to nearly 1.6 mt in the last couple of days and is further expected to go up to 1.7 mt by the end of this month. The pithead stock is estimated to be close to 37 mt.

Also read: Reforms needed to tackle power crisis

The power plants had a comfortable stock of 28.7 mt at the beginning of this fiscal and even at the end of July it was close to 24 mt, which was at par with the stock position of previous five years as of that date, sources said. However, with the sudden spurt in power generation the demand for coal peaked in the second half of August this year. A number of plants did not build up adequate coal stocks before monsoon. The non-payments of coal dues from States such as Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh also resulted in inadequate supplies.

“We expect the situation to further improve from the beginning of November. The demand for power is expected to be marginally lower in winter months and coal stocks at power plants are expected to go up,” Somesh Dasgupta, wholetime director of India Power Corporation Ltd said.

The average coal stock position at the power plants is expected to improve to six-to-seven days and the average daily stock is expected to increase to 10 mt by the end of this month, industry sources said.

As on October 24, 2021 (National Power Portal)

Mode

Number of Plants

Capacity (MW)

Daily Requirement (‘000T)

Total Stock (‘000T)

Total stock in days

Pithead

16

35200

430.8

2698.5

6

Non-pithead

119

129866

1367.6

5749.6

4

Total

135

165066

1798.4

8448.1

5

As on October 10, 2021 (National Power Portal)

Mode

Number of Plants

Capacity (MW)

Daily Requirement (‘000T)

Total Stock (‘000T)

Total stock in days

Pithead

16

35200

471.5

2333.9

5

Non-pithead

119

129866

1394.8

4965.4

4

Total

135

165066

1866.3

7299.3

4

As on October 24, 2020 (National Power Portal)

Mode

Number of Plants

Capacity (MW)

Daily Requirement (‘000T)

Total Stock (‘000T)

Total stock in days

Pithead

18

35100

452.6

6102.7

13

Non-pithead

118

128226

1340.7

27564.4

21

Total

136

163326

1793.2

33667.1

19

Published on October 26, 2021

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