Government asks CIL to ramp up output, dispatch to 2 MT per day
In the backdrop of robust demand for coal, the government has asked CIL to ramp up the production and dispatch to 2 million tonnes per day against around 1.6 MT at present, a top official said. The direction to Coal India (CIL) comes at a time when the power plants in the country have low fuel stocks. “Coal demand is robust……I have asked Coal India (CIL) to start dispatching and producing 2 million tonnes (MT) per day. Currently, they are doing about 1.6 MT of dispatch. So, the goal for Coal India is to produce 2 MT per day, dispatch 2 MT per day against the current 1.6. MT,” Coal Secretary Susheel Kumar told PTI. Kumar also exuded confidence that the PSU would be able to achieve the goal as the monsoons were over and added that “it cannot happen overnight but they have to do it”. The dispatch of coal to the power sector in the month of August has been 14.4 per cent higher compared to the same month last year, and 22 per cent higher in September as against the same month last year, Kumar said. In view of increased demand for coal, the Secretary said the government has also asked CIL to liquidate its stock at pithead and bring it down to nil from present 30 million tonnes. “Stocks at the pithead were about 69 MT at the start of this financial year…That has come down to 30 (MT) which is good and I have asked Coal India that old stock should be made zero. First in, first out should be the goal. Now, whatever stocks will remain would be fresh stock of few months,” the secretary said.
In order to liquidate the old stock, Kumar said, CIL is dispatching vigorously. “I have feeling that all old stock (of 30 MT) will be liquidated by March 31,” he said. Kumar had earlier blamed power producers for low coal stocks at plants and had asserted that there was no shortage of coal and plants should adhere to the Central Electricity Authority’s guidelines for stocking of the dry fuel.
The secretary had said if power plants do not stock dry fuel as per the guidelines of the CEA, then during monsoons there would be disruptions and they should face it. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had this month asked the Centre to ensure adequate supply of coal and early allocation of a coal block situated in Odisha to meet the severe fuel shortage being faced by power units in his state.
Rajasthan Urja Vikas Nigam had last month said power generation at thermal power stations has reduced by 2,700 MW due to shortage of coal, forcing it to resort to load shedding in the state.