Amid sharp spike in coal demand driven by an upward spiral in electricity generation, Coal India Ltd (CIL) has registered nearly 16 per cent growth in supplies to power sector in April 2022 as compared to same month last year. The country’s largest miner pushed up its supplies to power plants to 49.7 million tonnes (mt) in April, as against a dispatch of 43 mt same period last year.

On an average CIL supplied 1.66 mt per day to power utilities in April, which sped to 1.73 mt during the last week. Average supply per day is at par with what was programmed by CIL for this sector during the first quarter of FY23, the company said in a press statement.

The increased supply to power sector was despite the fact that the company has outstanding dues from a number of generating companies. The highest outstanding is from Maharashtra State Power Generation Company where the dues are to the tune of ₹2,608.07 crore. The undisputed amount is ₹2,591.45 crore. Next is the West Bengal Power Development Corporation Ltd with dues of ₹1,066.40 crore (undisputed amount ₹955.54 crore).

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Some of the other Gencos with dues include Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Ltd (around ₹1,018 crore), Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd (around ₹824 crore), Madhya Pradesh Power Generating Company (around ₹531 crore) and Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd (around ₹429 crore).

“Although the dues pertain to the State Gencos such as of Maharashtra, Rajasthan and West Bengal are very high CIL never regulated supply to these gencos and made adequate supply as per the sub-group plan and availability of rakes,” the company said.

Increased production

To keep up with the increased appetite for coal, CIL accelerated its production to 53.5 mt, a growth of around 28 per cent as compared to 41.9 mt in April’21. All the subsidiaries of the company have registered year-on-year growth, it said.

“MCL, SECL, NCL and WCL have significantly raised the production in April’22. With higher output CIL would is aiming to increase its despatches further, especially to power plants in the coming months,” it said.  

Incidentally, coal output of April was the highest ever for the month, so far, eclipsing the previous peak of 45.3 mt achieved in April’19.

CIL’s total offtake has risen sharply to 57.5 mt in April logging six per cent growth compared to 54.2 mt of same month last year.

Importantly, CIL registered 16 per cent growth in its over burden removal (OBR). The company excavated 132.8 million cubic metres of OBR during the month, as against 114.6 M.Cu.M in April’21. OBR is an important performance criterion that removes the topsoil in opencast mining and exposes the coal seam for faster extraction of coal in future. It also improves the mine geometry and makes mines safer to operate.