Hyderabad: The ministry of coal had reassured that ample coal is available in the country to meet the demand of power plants. Any fear of disruption in the power supply is entirely misplaced. The coal stock at the power plant is about 72 lakh tonnes, sufficient for four days, and the Coal India Limited (CIL) has a stock of more than 400 lakh tonnes, it said.

The ministry said that domestic coal-based power generation has grown by nearly 24% this year (till September 2021) based on a robust supply from the coal companies. The daily average coal requirement at the power plants is about 18.5 lakh tonnes of coal per day whereas the daily coal supply has been around 17.5 lakh tonnes per day. Due to extended monsoons, the despatches were constrained. The coal available at the power plants is a rolling stock that gets replenished by the supplies from the coal companies on a daily basis, it added.

It clarified that any fear of coal stocks depleting at the power plant is erroneous and added that in fact, this year domestic coal supply has substituted imports by a substantial measure.

Despite heavy rains in the coalfield areas, CIL had supplied more than 255 MT coal to the power sector this year which is the highest ever H-1 supply from CIL to the power sector, the ministry said. Out of the total coal supply from all sources, the present coal supply from CIL to the power sector is more than 14 lakh tonnes per day and with the receding rains, this supply has already increased to 15 lakh tonnes and is set to increase to more than 16 lakh tonnes per day by the end of October 2021. The supply from SCCL and captive coal blocks shall contribute to another 3 lakh plus tonnes of coal every day, it added.

Domestic coal supplies have supported power generation in a major way despite heavy monsoons, low coal imports, and a steep hike in power demand due to economic recovery. It is expected that coal supplies are set to be at a record high in the current financial year.

Due to high international prices of coal, the supply of power even under PPAs by import-based power plants has reduced by almost 30% while domestic-based power supply has gone up nearly 24 % in H1 of this year. The imported coal-based power plants have generated about 25.6 BU against a program of 45.7 BU.

It may be noted that the comfortable coal position in the country is reflected by the fact that the CIL has been supplying more than 2.5 lakh tonnes (approx.) daily to meet the demand of non-power industries like aluminium, cement, and steel along with the supply of coal to thermal plants of the country, the coal ministry said.

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